South East Wales

Ian Stoutzker's donation to Welsh college for mother

Dora Stoutzker
Image caption Dora Stoutzker inspired her son's lifetime love of music

A London businessman has given £500,000 to the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama which will name a hall after his musical mother.

Ian Stoutzker created the outreach scheme Live Music Now with violinist Yehudi Menuhin.

The Dora Stoutzker Hall remembers his mother who taught music in Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent.

The college said it was "fitting" it should be named after a 'valleys girl' who inspired her son so much.

Principal Hilary Boulding said the merchant banker had been "unstinting in his support".

"We're thrilled that, through his generosity, future generations of talented young musicians in Wales will have the opportunity to train and perform in exceptional facilities.

Born in 1897, Dora Cohen spent her first 25 years in Tredegar where she taught piano and singing until she married and left for London.

Mr Stoutzker was evacuated to his mother's birthplace when the family home was bombed during World War II.

He was taught at Tredegar County School before returning to London to study the violin and later develop a career in merchant banking.

He has combined his business career with his musical interests, having been chairman of a number of leading orchestras and continuing to chair Live Music Now.

The music outreach programme, created in 1977, employs hundreds of young music graduates to teach workshops to disadvantaged youngsters.

Mr Stoutzker's donation is said to be a personal tribute to the love and support he received from his mother, who died in 1968.

Lord Rowe Beddoe, president of the college, also paid tribute to the benefactor.

"Ian is himself a most accomplished musician, but he has devoted much of his life to nurturing and supporting artistic talent in others," he said.

Image caption The new concert hall is part of a £22.5m improvement scheme

"This significant donation to the college is so typical of him and I am delighted that through this extraordinary gesture Ian will rekindle his family connection with Wales."

The concert hall is part of a £22.5m scheme to improve facilities at the college which opened in the grounds of Cardiff Castle in 1949.

The development also includes the 160-seat Richard Burton Theatre, four drama rehearsal studios and an exhibition gallery.

The new facilities are due to open in June.

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