Transforming Communities

Sir Ian Stoutzker CBE, 1929-2024

Live Music Now joins the arts, music and business worlds in mourning the passing of its Founder-President Sir Ian Stoutzker.

It is with profound sadness that Live Music Now, the national charity delivering social impact through music, joins the arts, music and business worlds in mourning the passing of its Founder-President Sir Ian Stoutzker.

Throughout his life, Sir Ian lent his support to a diverse range of musical and art institutions. However, he often said his greatest achievement was the co-founding of Live Music Now with his good friend and renowned violinist, Yehudi Menuhin. Together, they envisioned an organisation that would bring the power of live music to those who have limited access, while simultaneously nurturing the talents of young musicians embarking on their careers.

Sir Ian’s dedication to Live Music Now was unwavering. As Chairman for over 41 years, he played a pivotal role in shaping the organisation’s growth and impact. Under his leadership, Live Music Now flourished, becoming the foremost charity that inspires and empowers emerging musicians to use their talents to meaningfully enhance the health and wellbeing of communities. Even after retirement, he retained a close interest in our musicians’ work with groups such as Disabled children and tackling loneliness in older people though programmes such as Songs and Scones.

Sir Vernon Ellis, Chair of Live Music Now said: “The vision laid out by Ian and Yehudi Menuhin has touched the lives of countless individuals over the past 47 years. Live Music Now has brought joy, comfort and healing to those in need through over 100,000 interactive music workshops led by thousands of specially trained musicians. This legacy of improved well-being and community connections will continue to grow, and Ian’s vision and commitment will always be seen as the sine qua non. Our thoughts go out to Mercedes, Sir Ian’s wife for 65 years and partner in their extraordinary philanthropy, particularly in the visual arts, and we extend our sympathy to all the family.”

Sir Ian’s legacy extends beyond Live Music Now. Sir Ian’s significant contributions to the arts began in 1961 with a donation to the Royal College of Music, marking the start of a lifelong dedication to music and arts philanthropy. In addition to his career in banking, Sir Ian assumed pivotal roles within the arts community, notably with the Royal College of Music, the Philharmonia and the London Symphony Orchestra. From 2013 to 2020 he chaired the European Youth Orchestra.

His mother Dora Stoutzker was Welsh and he always had a strong affinity for Wales, which included being a huge supporter of the Tredegar Town Band, one of the finest brass bands in the country. He played a key role in funding the concert hall at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, named after her. His philanthropy also touched the visual arts, with substantial donations to Tate, including works by Lucian Freud and David Hockney. Sir Ian was awarded a CBE in 2012, The Prince of Wales Medal for Philanthropy in 2013 and a Knighthood, for his lifelong commitment to the arts and music, in 2019.

Sir Ian was described in the Royal Academy of Music’s citation for its award of Honorary Fellowship as “With the possible exception of George Frederic Handel, no individual has done more to bring music to children and the disadvantaged in the history of this country than Ian Stoutzker.”


Live Music Now is compiling a Book of Condolence to honor Ian’s memory and share with his family.

Whether you share a cherished memory, a thoughtful reflection, or simply wish to express your condolences, your words will serve as a source of comfort during this difficult time.

You can complete this form, or send your remarks to [email protected] by Friday, April 19th. Photographs are welcome by email.

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