Ian Hardwick studied at the Royal College of Music with Michael Winfield

Following graduation, he was awarded funds from the Munster Trust for further studies and concerts. Other performances as a young graduate included recitals and concertos with the South East Arts Scheme at the Wigmore Hall, and performances at the Purcell Room as part of the Park Lane Group Young Artists Series. In 1987 Ian joined the English National Opera Orchestra, where he was Principal Oboe for five years before joining the London Philharmonic Orchestra as Principal Oboe in 1992.