Ian Sadler began his musical training as a boy chorister for five years at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, UK. He then won a Music Scholarship to Britain’s oldest high school, The King’s School, Canterbury. Following high school, at age 17, he won the Organ Scholarship to Bristol University. During postgraduate study at London University, Ian held the Organ Scholarship at St. Paul’s Cathedral from 1978-80. Ian holds degrees in musicology and education, with organ diplomas from Trinity College of Music and The Royal College of Organists. Before moving to Canada his final engagement in the UK was to play the organ in the movie, Chariots of Fire.
Ian moved to Canada in 1980 following his appointments in Toronto as Director of Music at Grace Church-on-the-Hill and Choral Director at Upper Canada College. In 1999, in recognition of his high standard of organ playing and choral directing, Ian was awarded the honorary adjunct position of Professor of Music by Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. As an organist, Ian has represented Canada internationally on many occasions. In 1986, the year that he became a Canadian citizen, he won 1st prize at the Syracuse International Organ Playing Competition in the USA. As a Canadian recitalist, tours have since taken him to Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France (Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris), Austria (Vienna’s St. Stephen’s Cathedral), and the USA (New York, Boston, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, San Francisco and Hawaii). In 1995, Ian represented Canada as the organist for the United Nations 50th Anniversary Celebrations in San Francisco. Since 1994, Ian has annually been the guest organ recitalist for the North American Liszt Festival held each year in Hamilton, Ontario. In 1999, Ian was invited to represent Canada as the first Canadian juror at the International Liszt Organ Playing Competition held at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary.
Ian has also attempted to reach an ever-increasing audience for the organ with his ‘organ only’ oratorio and large work accompaniments. Annually he plays for many Canadian choirs in works such as Messiah, Haydn’s Creation, Elijah, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, Requiems by Mozart, Brahms, and Verdi and Glorias by Vivaldi and Poulenc. Ian’s recording discography is extensive with 8 solo organ CDs and over 35 choral CD recordings on current release. In 1999, Ian was presented with a Juno award for a choral CD. His solo CDs include recordings on major organs in Toronto – Roy Thomson Hall, Yorkminster Park Baptist Church and St. James’ Cathedral. Ian has been involved with the launching of the organs at three major concert halls in Canada. He was invited to perform a programme of British music for the inaugural series of organ recitals at Jack Singer Hall, Calgary. He played the first recital in the inaugural series at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall and performed with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra in a programme entitled ‘A Night At The Movies’, to inaugurate the organ at the Winspeare Centre.
Since moving to Canada, Ian has been nominated for The Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts (2007), and The Order of Ontario (2003). For his dedication to promoting the organ and Canadian music, both at home and abroad, The Royal Canadian College of Organists honoured Ian in 2007 with their highest award, ‘Fellow of The Royal Canadian College of Organists’.
Highlights of this season (2012-13), include recitals in the USA, King’s College Chapel in Cambridge UK and a week as organist in residence at Peterborough Cathedral UK next summer. Further highlights include a week after Christmas when Ian will be directing his choir, The Cathedral Singers of Ontario, at St. Paul’s Cathedral London UK, where they have been invited to sing the daily services.