The Stanley Sadie Archive

Stanley Sadie with Charles Cudworth

Stanley Sadie with Charles Cudworth

The archive of the musicologist and music critic, Stanley John Sadie (1930-2005) was donated to Cambridge University Library in 2013 by Sadie’s widow and is an important addition to the Library’s existing music collections which include several archives of eminent British composers, musicians and musicologists.  A project to catalogue the collection is now underway and it is anticipated that the Stanley Sadie Archive will be made accessible to researchers by the summer of 2017.

Sadie studied at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he read music under Thurston Dart, Charles Cudworth, and Patrick Hadley; he graduated BA MusB in 1953, and PhD in 1958. His thesis was on eighteenth-century British chamber music, a subject about which little had hitherto been discovered.

Sadie taught at Trinity College of Music, London, from 1957 to 1965, and in 1964 joined The Times as a music critic, reviewing regularly for the paper until 1981. In 1966 he was appointed assistant editor of the Musical Times, two years later becoming its editor, a post he held until 1986. For forty years, from the mid-1960s, he also reviewed regularly for The Gramophone and made many broadcasts for the BBC. He wrote numerous programme articles and notes to accompany recordings and he edited a set of eight volumes, Man and Music (1989–1993), which were conceived alongside a series of television programmes broadcast by Granada Television and Channel 4.

groveIn 1970 Sadie began work as editor of the sixth edition of Grove’s Dictionary of Music and Musicians, published in 1980 as The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians [MR410.b.95.74-93], in twenty volumes.  Not only was the publication on an unprecedented scale, but it embraced topics new to musicology (e.g. world music, ethnomusicology, ancient music, sources, analysis, and popular music) and was written by an international team of specialists.  It is considered to be Sadie’s greatest achievement.

Beginning with Sadie’s years in Cambridge, the archive reflects all elements of his career and interests and is particularly rich in materials relating to his writings: there are newspaper review cuttings books, reviews in journals, programme and record sleeve notes, articles and lecture texts, the majority of which focused on the music of his two great loves: Mozart and Handel.  There are also manuscript scores for research and publication; correspondence with colleagues, musicologists, publishers; research and correspondence relating to editions of music; BBC broadcast scripts and recordings; and materials relating to the editorship of Grove.

(Biographical information drawn from entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography)

Karen Davies, Stanley Sadie Archive Project

About mj263

Music Collections Supervisor at Cambridge University Library. Wide musical interests. Often to be found stuck in a composer's archive, or enthusing about antiquarian music.
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