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Like Father, Like Son

Updated: 2007-08-06 09:00

Renowned translator Fu Lei and his son Fu Cong

Fu Lei

Fu Lei

Fu Lei (1908-1966) was born near Shanghai and raised by his mother. He studied art and art theory in France from 1928-1932. Upon his return to China, he taught in Shanghai and worked as a journalist and art critic until he took up translating. His translations, which remain highly regarded, include Voltaire, Balzac and Romain Rolland. He developed his own style, the "Fu Lei style," and his own translation theory. Though labeled a rightist in 1957, he persevered until 1966, when, at the start of the Cultural Revolution, he and his wife committed suicide. His letters to his son Fu Cong, a world-renowned pianist, were published posthumously and have become a bestseller in China.

Fu Cong

Fu Cong

Fu Cong was born in March, 1934. His father, Fu Lei, was a famous scholar, art theorist and translator. When Fu Cong was 4 years old, he had already shown his attraction to music.Three years later he began to learn piano from Mario Paci, an Italian conductor and a student of Liszt's apprentice. Three years later, Ada Bronstein of the former USSR became his new teacher.

In March 1955, the fifth Chopin international piano competition was held in Warsaw. Fu Cong won third place with his performance of "Mazuka" and his score was quite close to the second and first place winners. He began touring the world performing. Time Magazine named him the greatest Chinese musician alive.

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