He was educated as a chorister at New College, Oxford and later at Winchester College. He studied piano under Sulamita Aronovsky at the Royal Northern College of Music.
He has enjoyed a wide-ranging and varied career, performing extensively throughout Europe, the USA, the UK and the Far East, with orchestras such as the London Symphony and Sir Colin Davis, the Israel Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, and the Czech Philharmonic and Jiri Belohlavek. He has also performed with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, Singapore Symphony and Utah Symphony amongst many others.
Since 2001, Ian Fountain has been a piano professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London. He holds an annual summer masterclass at the Accademia di Cervo, Italy, and further masterclasses around the world. He has served on the juries of international piano competitions, including at the Arthur Rubinstein Competition in 2011.
1989, 1st prize (shared), The Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition, Tel Aviv, Israel