Stanley Sadie CBE was born on 30 October, 1930 and died on 21 March, 2005 at his home in Cossington, Somerset, of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), which had been diagnosed only a few weeks earlier.. Stanley was a leading British musicologist, music critic, and editor. Stanley was editor of the 6th edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980), which was published as the 1st edition of the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
Stanley 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). Stanley doctoral dissertation was on mid 18th century British chamber music. After Cambridge, he taught at Trinity College of Music, London (1957-1965).
Stanley 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. Stanley was editor of The Musical Times 1967-1987.
From 1970 Stanley was editor of what was planned to be the 6th edition of the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians (1980). Stanley oversaw major changes to the Dictionary, which grew from 9 volumes to 20, and was published as the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and is now referred to as the 1st edition under that name. Stanley was also an important force behind the 2nd (or 7th) edition (2001), which grew further to 29 volumes. Stanley also oversaw a major expansion of the Grove franchise, editing the 1 volume Grove Concise Dictionary of Music (1988), and several spinoff dictionaries, such as the New Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments (3 volumes, 1984), the New Grove Dictionary of American Music, (with H. Wiley Hitchcock, 4 volumes, 1986), and the New Grove Dictionary of Opera (4 volumes, 1992). Stanley also edited composer biographies based on the entries in Grove.
Outside his work on the Grove Dictionaries, Stanley was a renowned Mozart scholar, publishing several books. Stanley also was instrumental in saving the Mayfair house where George Frideric Handel once lived, turning it into the Handel House Museum.
Stanley was president of the Royal Musical Association (1989-94), and of the International Musicological Society (1992-97).
Stanley married twice. Stanley’s 1st wife, Adele, by whom he had 2 sons and a daughter, died in 1978. By his 2nd wife, Julie Anne, also a musicologist, he had a son and daughter. Stanley was survived by all 5 of his children and Julie Anne.
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