Ian studied Tuba at the Birmingham Conservatoire and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Whilst at college Ian won the Brass Solo Prize, Brass Chamber Music Prize, participated in the CBSO, LSO, Philharmonia Scheme, was a Finalist in the RNCM International Tuba Conference Soloist Award and was also a semi-finalist in the Shell/LSO Brass Scholarship.
He was principal tuba of the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain and a member of the CBSO Brass Quintet.
Ian is Principal Tuba for the English Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia Viva. He has performed, broadcast and recorded with the Fine Arts Brass Ensemble, Royal Shakespeare Company, Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Philharmonia, Ulster Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Sinfonica De Tenerife and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra working with conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Sakari Oramo, John Wilson, Valery Gergiev and Andris Nelsons.
In 2012 he was invited to be the tuba soloist in the world premier of Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht and In 2020 premiered a new Tuba Concerto by Ian Rae and performed the Edward Gregson Concerto in Northampton. Recently he travelled to Dubai to play cimbasso in the Arabian Opera Orchestra.
He has a passion for teaching and is a low brass tutor for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra Youth Orchestra, the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain and teaches brass at K.E.S Stratford Upon Avon, Rugby School and Bilton Grange Preparatory School.
His brass arrangements are published by Warwick Music and appear on the ABRSM/Trinity Syllabus.
“One of the most fascinating recordings to land on the BB Editor’s desk during 2012… Provides a showcase for an outstanding talent in Ian Foster… Ian plays with fine tone and projection throughout, while his natural musical instincts bring each work alive, easily conquering the challenges presented by the considerable stylistic changes within the varied and imaginatively-chosen programme.” – British Bandsman, Jan 2013
“Longborough has successfully reassembled last years Walküre team. With conductor Anthony Negus fresh from his Glyndebourne Meistersinger experience, the 60+ orchestra delivers an alert and sensitive performance with Ian Foster’s tuba playing especially noteworthy.” – Kenilworth News 2011
“Just to say I think the CD is great and I am particularly pleased with the Sonatina. You both play superbly and the first and last movements really zoom along. Jo plays that octave leap bit so well in the first movement! The slow movement gives a lovely lyrical atmosphere so I am very happy.” – Edward Watson, composer, on Handel to Valhalla
“Ian Foster was the tremendously accomplished and devoted soloist, deft, noble and virtuosic.” – Christopher Morley