British-Chinese pianist Fou Ts’ong (also Fu Cong) died yesterday in London from COVID-19, aged 86. Born in Shanghai in 1934, he was one of the first Chinese-born pianists to achieve international fame. In 1955, he won the third prize and the Polish Radio Prize for the best performance of mazurkas in the International Chopin Piano Competition.
In 1958, Fou settled in London. In 1959, he performed under Carlo Maria Giulini at the Royal Albert Hall. He made his debut with the New York Philharmonic in November 1961 and played with many renowned orchestra all over the world. He recorded for many labels including Meridian Records, Sony Music, Decca Records, Westminster Records, Collins Records, and Fryderyk Chopin Institute. Among his recordings is the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 7 for three pianos with Vladimir Ashkenazy, Daniel Barenboim, and the English Chamber Orchestra.
He was several times a member of the Queen Elisabeth Music Competition’s jury in Brussels and also served on the jury of the Chopin Competition.
From 1960 to 1969, he was married to Zamira Menuhin, the daughter of Yehudi Menuhin, and they had one son. Their marriage ended in divorce. He later married the Chinese pianist Patsy Toh.