Stanley Sadie

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Stanley John Sadie CBE ( /ˈsdi/ ; 30 October 1930 – 21 March 2005) was an influential and prolific British musicologist, music critic, and editor. He was editor of the sixth edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980), which was published as the first edition of The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians . [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] Along with Thurston Dart, Nigel Fortune and Oliver Neighbour he was one of Britain's leading musicologists of the post-World War II generation. [7]



Born in Wembley, Sadie was educated at St Paul's School, London, and studied music privately for three years with Bernard Stevens. [8] At Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge he read music under Thurston Dart. Sadie earned Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees in 1953, a Master of Arts degree in 1957, and a PhD in 1958. His doctoral dissertation was on mid-eighteenth-century British chamber music. [9] After Cambridge, he taught at Trinity College of Music, London (1957–1965). [10] [11] [12]

Sadie then turned to music journalism, becoming music critic for The Times (1964–1981), and contributing reviews to the Financial Times after 1981, when he had to leave his position and The Times because of his commitments to the Grove and other scholarly work. He was editor of The Musical Times from 1967 until 1987. [13] [14] [15]

From 1970 Sadie was editor of what was planned to be the sixth edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980). Sadie oversaw major changes to the dictionary, which grew from nine volumes to twenty, and was published as The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (New Grove), and is now referred to as the first edition under that name. He was also an important force behind the second edition of New Grove (2001), which grew further to 29 volumes. Sadie also oversaw a major expansion of the Grove franchise, editing the one-volume Grove Concise Dictionary of Music (1988), and several spinoff dictionaries, such as the New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments (three volumes, 1984), the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, (with H. Wiley Hitchcock, four volumes, 1986), and The New Grove Dictionary of Opera (four volumes, 1992). He also edited composer biographies based on the entries in Grove. [16] [17]

Outside his work on the Grove dictionaries, Sadie edited the Man and Music volumes accompanying a television series (1989–1993). [18] He was also an accomplished bassoonist. [19] [20] [21] [22]

Sadie died at his home in Cossington, Somerset, 21 March 2005, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Motor Neurone disease), which had been diagnosed only a few weeks earlier.

Sadie married twice. His first wife, Adèle Sadie (née Bloom; 1931–1978) – whom he married in 1953 in London, and with whom he had two sons and a daughter – died in 1978. Sadie married Julie Anne Sadie (née Vertrees; born 1948), also a musicologist, in 1978. They had a son and a daughter.


In 1982, Sadie was appointed CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire). He received an honorary Doctor of Letters from the University of Leicester in 1982, and was elected honorary fellow of the Royal College of Music in 1994 and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. In 2005, Sadie became a Handel Prize laureate.

Professional affiliations

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        Vol. 31 September 2005 – August 2006 (2006)
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        7th ed, Slonimsky (ed.) (1984); OCLC   10574930
        8th ed, Slonimsky (ed.) (1992); OCLC   24246972
        9th ed, Laura Diane Kuhn (ed.) (born 1953) (2001); OCLC   44972043
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         17th ed. 2000–2001 (2000); OCLC   610394664
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        43rd ed., 1979–80 (1979); OCLC   440743632
        44th ed., 1980–81 (1980); OCLC   440743737
        45th ed., 1981–82 (1981); OCLC   440743813
        46th ed., 1982–83 (1982); OCLC   440744015
        47th ed., 1983–84 (1983); OCLC   441457144
        53rd ed., 1989–90 (1989); OCLC   20250797
        55th ed., 1991–92 (1991); OCLC   24322591
        57th ed., 1993–94 (1993); OCLC   28473075
        61st ed., 1997–98 (1997); OCLC   37363047
        62nd ed., 1998–99 (1998); OCLC   39517239
        63rd ed., 2000 (1999); OCLC   59440072
        64th ed., 2000–01 (2000); OCLC   43788856
        65th ed., 2002 (2001); OCLC   59550486
        66th ed., 2003 (2002); OCLC   50197639
        67th ed., 2004 (2003); OCLC   59342773
        68th ed., 2005 (2004); OCLC   59262688
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        126th Year, 1974–1975 (1974)
        134th Year, 1982–1983 (1982)
        135th Year, 1983–1984 (1983)
        137th Year, 1985–1986 (1985)
        140th Year, 1988 (1988)
        142nd Year, 1990 (1990)
        144th Year, 1992 (1992)
        146th Year, 1994 (1994)
        150th Year, 1998 (1998)
        151st Year, 1999 (1999)
        152nd Year, 2000 (2000)
        153rd Year, 2001 2001)
        154th Year, 2002 2002)
        155th Year, 2003 (2003)
        156th Year, 2004 (2004)
        157th Year, 2005 (2005)
  18. Latham, Alison. "Sadie, Stanley". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/96225.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.); OCLC   4916054867
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        7th ed., 1984–1985 (1984)
        8th ed., 1987–1988 (1986)
        9th ed., 1989–1990 (1988)
        10th ed., 1991–1992 (1990)
        11th ed., 1993–1994 (1992)
        12th ed., 1995–1996 (1994)
        13th ed., 1996–1997 (1995)
        14th ed., 1997 (1996)
        15th ed., 1998 (1997)
        16th ed., 1999 (1999)
        17th ed., 2000 (1999)
        18th ed., 2001 (2000)
        19th ed., 2002 (2001)
  22. The Writers Directory St. Martin's Press; ISSN   0084-2699
        3rd ed., 1976–1978
        4th ed., 1980–1982
        5th ed., 1982–1984 (1981)
        6th ed., 1984–1986 (1983)
        7th ed., 1986–1988 (1986)
        8th ed., 1988–1990 (1988)
        9th ed., 1990–1992 (1990)
        10th ed., 1992–1994 (1991)
        11th ed., 1994–1996 (1994)
        12th ed., 1996–1998 (1996)
        13th ed., 1998–2000 (1997)
        14th ed., 1999 (1999)
        15th ed., 2000 (2000)
        16th ed., 2001 (2001)
        17th ed., 2002 (2002)
        18th ed., 2003 (2003)
        19th ed., 2004 (2003)
        20th ed., 2005 (2004)
        21st ed., 2006 (2005)
        22nd ed., 2007 (2006)
        23rd ed., 2008 (2007) (obituaries at end of vol.)