Ian has been fascinated with musical theatre since he saw Salad Days when just 10 years old. He subsequently became a musician and has played in theatre pit orchestras throughout Australia in shows ranging from The Pyjama Game to The Gypsy Baron. Canberra Philharmonic offered Ian his first opportunity to musically direct a show with Annie in 1991. Since then for Philo he has been Musical Director for Fiddler on the Roof, Chicago, Guys and Dolls, both productions of Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Carousel and My Fair Lady. For the Canberra Theatre Trust he has musically directed The Pirates of Penzance and Anything Goes. In 1998 he received a CAT award for his work in Carousel.

Ian was a professional musician with the Australian Army for nearly 34 years. He served throughout Australia and in South Vietnam, Bougainville and East Timor and was selected to undertake advanced study in London at the Royal Military School of Music, Kneller Hall. He completed that demanding three year course in 1983 and was commissioned to serve as an Officer in the Australian Army Band Corps. His last eight years in the Army were spent as the Officer Commanding and Music Director of the Royal Military College Band, Duntroon. He left the Army in February 2001 to accept an appointment as CEO of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra.

He has a wide range of musical interests. Until recently he was principal percussionist with the Canberra Symphony Orchestra and for numerous years was on the conducting staff of the Canberra Youth Orchestra Society. He plays drums with the sophisticated jazz quartet, Swing in Style. He has served on the MUSE magazine management committee and has been a Board member of many of Canberra's music and theatre organisations. He is a member of the Register of Peers of the Australia Council. Ian was awarded a Conspicuous Service Cross in the 1996 Australia Day Honours list.