Juno award winning organist Ian Sadler began his musical training as a boy chorister for five years at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, UK. He was then awarded a Music Scholarship to The King’s School, Canterbury and following high school, was awarded the Organ Scholarship to Bristol University. During postgraduate study at London University (1978-80), Ian held the Organ Scholarship at St. Paul’s Cathedral. 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. Ian has since shared the concert platform accompanying many Canadian artists in concert including Maureen Forrester, Daniel Taylor, John McDermott, Michael Burgess, Measha Brueggergosman, Gary Relyea, Michael Schade, Daniel Lichti, Suzie LeBlanc and Jackie Richardson. Since 1980, he has collaborated with several Canadian orchestras and as a solo organist has worked with many International conductors including Michael Reason, David Hoyt, Chosei Komatsu, Nikki Goldschmidt, Robert Cooper, Simon Streatfeild, Brian Jackson, Peter Oundjian, John Rutter, Sir Andrew Davis and Sir David Willcocks. Ian has also commissioned and premièred many new choral, vocal and organ works from Canadian composers including Ruth Watson Henderson, Derek Holman, Robert Evans, Jeff Enns, Albert Greer and Denis Bédard. As an organist, Ian has represented Canada internationally on many occasions. In 1986, the year that he became a Canadian citizen, Ian 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), Australia (Sydney, Newcastle, Adelaide and Melbourne), the USA (New York, Boston, Grand Rapids, Ann Arbor, San Francisco and Hawaii), Helsinki Finland and back to the UK (Winchester Cathedral, Truro Cathedral, Norwich Cathedral, York Minster, St. Giles - Edinburgh, Coventry Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, King’s College Cambridge & St. Paul’s Cathedral). Highlights of Ian’s career have included, representing Canada as the organist for the United Nations 50th Anniversary Celebrations in San Francisco, being awarded the honorary adjunct position of Professor of Music by Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario - a position which he held for 8 years - representing Canada as the first Canadian juror at the International Liszt Organ Playing Competition held at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary and being presented with a Juno award for a gospel music CD performed by his Burlington Chamber Choir, Pro Musica and Canadian soloist Deborah Klassen.
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 Handel's 'Messiah', Bach’s 'Christmas Oratorio', 'St. Matthew Passion' and 'St. John Passion', Haydn’s 'Creation', Mendelssohn's 'Elijah', Mozart, Brahms, and Verdi 'Requiems' and Poulenc's 'Gloria' . Ian’s recording discography is extensive with 8 solo organ CDs and over 35 choral CD recordings on current release. 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.
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, ‘Fellowship of The Royal Canadian College of Organists’.
In 2015, Ian was invited to take up the position of Organist at St. James' Cathedral in Toronto. On January 1, 2020 was appointed Organist and Director of Music at St. Paul's Cathedral, London Ontario. Ian is Conductor of The Stratford Concert Choir, a position he has held since 1989. He is also Artistic Director and Conductor of The Cathedral Singers of Ontario, a choir which he founded in 1999. Ian conducted this latter choir for a weeks residency at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin this past July and in January he lead the choir in a series of concerts in Kingston Jamaica. This coming July Ian will lead the choir for a weeks residency at St. Alban's Abbey and an Evensong at Coventry Cathedral where he will also present an organ recital.