After the death of British-Chinese pianist Fou Ts’ong, tributes are coming from many people. The Chopin Institute in Warsaw says on its website: « It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of the legendary Chinese pianist Fou Ts’ong. His departure brings to a close a crucial page in the Chopin tradition; we bid farewell to a master, musician and philosopher with a unique gift for conveying Chopin’s greatness to the world both in words and, above all, through his playing. A true wise man of the East, he taught us how to understand and feel the Mazovian mazurka. His interpretations and reflections were an inspiration to many, Martha Argerich included.

An artist who belonged to his country’s cultural elite, his life was marked both by dramatic events and by the tragedy of the generation of Chinese people that experienced the cultural revolution. He had a connection with Poland from an early age. Enamoured of Polish culture, he had many close Polish friends; suffice it to mention that he played his first concert with orchestra after fleeing to the West, in England, under the baton of his fellow exile and friend Andrzej Panufnik.

In a special album recorded to mark the artist’s sixtieth birthday, Martha Argerich, Leon Fleisher and Radu Lupu wrote: ‘Fou Ts’ong became one of the great teachers of our time. We are obliged to Fou Ts’ong for all his new ideas and for opening new musical horizons for all of us’. »

His former student William Youn wrote on Instagram:  » Saying good bye is for me one of the most difficult things. I remember that one evening at Lake Como when one of my colleagues started playing the 3rd sonata of Chopin, I watched Fou Ts’ong leaning on his chair lighting his pipe, thinking how this person portrays the music itself. He was an artist- the most sensible, unpredictable, he could laugh like a child and suddenly be transcendental like an old monk. You could feel his scar inside him, the pain he carried which he tried to heal everyday through music.

I haven’t had contact with him for many years now but I was always so glad and thankful that someone like him existed. He has made such an impact in my life.

Rest In Peace, my maestro. You will always stay in my heart. »

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