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 at Bristol University. While at school in Canterbury, organ tuition was undertaken with the Cathedral organists, Philip Moore and Stephen Darlington. At University, Ian received organ tuition from Oxbridge organ tutor, David Sanger. During postgraduate study at London University (1978-80), Ian was the Organ Scholar at St. Paul’s Cathedral under Christopher Dearnley and John Scott. 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. He continued organ studies with Mireille Lagacé in Montreal. Since 1980, Ian has shared the concert platform accompanying many Canadian artists including Maureen Forrester, Gary Relyea, Suzie LeBlanc, Daniel Lichti, Daniel Taylor, Jackie Richardson, John McDermott, Michael Burgess, Measha Brueggergosman and Michael Schade. Since 1980, he has collaborated with several Canadian orchestras and as a solo organist has worked with many International conductors including Sir David Willcocks, John Rutter, Sir Andrew Davis, Simon Streatfeild, Nikki Goldschmidt, Chosei Komatsu, Robert Cooper, Peter Oundjian, Brian Jackson, Michael Reason and David Hoyt. 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' . In 2019, in collaboration with C.F. Peters Corp. New York publishers, Ian and his wife, Catharine, produced an arrangement of Walton's 'Belshazzar's Feast' for brass quintet, percussion, organ & piano. 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 (1986). 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 (2002).
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’.
For 32 Seasons (1989-2021) Ian was Artistic Director/Conductor of The Stratford Concert Choir. In its 4 concert series SCC regularly performed Handel's 'Messiah', Mendelssohn's 'Elijah', J.S. Bach's 'St Matthew' & 'St. John Passions', and the 'Requiems' of Brahms, Duruflé, Fauré and Mozart. Under Ian's direction, the choir has performed in England and France and undertaken other singing tours to Quebec, New Brunswick, PEI, Nova Scotia and Michigan USA. The choir can be heard on 5 CD recordings. Two of these were from special invitations - the 1st to participate in a recording of the complete musical works of Stratford Festival composer Alan Laing. The 2nd invitation was from Loreena McKennit to perform alongside her on her 'Lost Souls' CD.
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. He is Artistic Director and Conductor of The Cathedral Singers of Ontario, a choir which he founded in 1999. Ian conducted this choir for a weeks residency at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin in July 2019 and in January 2020, he led the choir in a series of concerts in Kingston, Jamaica.