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Stanley Sadie CBE (30 October 1930 – 21 March 2005) was a leading 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.

Sadie was educated at St Paul's School, London, and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he read music under Thurston Dart (BA, MusB 1953, MA 1957, PhD 1958). His doctoral dissertation was on mid-eighteenth-century British chamber music. After Cambridge, he taught at Trinity College of Music, London (1957-1965).

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 1967-1987.

From 1970 Sadie was editor of what was planned to be the 6th edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980). Sadie oversaw major changes to the Dictionary, which grew from nine volumes to 20, 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.

Outside his work on the Grove Dictionaries, Sadie was a renowned Mozart scholar, publishing several books. He also was instrumental in saving the Mayfair house where George Frideric Handel once lived, turning it into the Handel House Museum.

He was president of the Royal Musical Association (1989-94), of the International Musicological Society (1992-97), and of the Trustees of the Holst Birth Place Museum in Cheltenham.

Sadie died at his home in Cossington, Somerset on 21 March 2005, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's disease), which had been diagnosed only a few weeks earlier. Sadie married twice. His first wife, Adele, by whom he had two sons and a daughter, died in 1978. By his second wife, Julie Anne, also a musicologist, he had a son and daughter. He was survived by all five of his children and Julie Anne. He has three grandchildren, Melanie, Nicola and Jenny.


In 1982 he was appointed CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire). He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Leicester, and was elected honorary fellow of the Royal College of Music and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

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