Sir Robert Mayer, CH, KCVO (5 June 1879 – 9 January 1985) was a German-born philanthropist, businessman, and a major supporter of music and young musicians.
Mayer was born in Mannheim, Germany; his father was a brewer. From the age of 5 Mayer attended the Mannheim conservatoire, where, at the age of 11, he played a piano ballade by Brahms before the composer. He also studied under Felix Weingartner.
His father however insisted that Mayer go into business. Initially he worked in the lace trade, and then, moving to London in 1896, became a banker, whilst continuing his piano studies with Fanny Davies and others. Mayer became a citizen of the United Kingdom in 1902, and joined the British army in the First World War.
His wife, the soprano Dorothy Moulton (d. 1974), whom he married in 1919, encouraged him to continue his interest in music. Early in their married life, whilst living in the United States, Mayer came across the children's concerts organised by Walter Damrosch, and he was inspired by these to found the Robert Mayer Concerts for Children in 1923 (and later set up 'Youth and Music' , founded 1954, and affiliated to Jeunesses Musicales). The first series of concerts were conducted by Adrian Boult and Malcolm Sargent...
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