George Frideric Handel - Famous Composers in History

Momument commemorating George Frideric Handel.
Momument commemorating George Frideric Handel.

Handel was a German musician and composer. He is considered to be one of the greatest Baroque composers. Handle expressed and served the needs of the entire public through his music in England. This is evident in his music, songs, and popular oratorios that complement societal values. Furthermore, Handel supplied the demands of Aristotle patronage in the entire Europe continent.

Early Life

George Frideric Handel was born on February 23, 1685, in Germany. He was the son to Georg and Dorothea Handel. Handel had two sisters: Christiana and Sophia. He showed great music talent at a tender age. At the age of seven, Handle performed pipe organ and harpsichord. He started composing music when he was nine years old. The father opposed the idea of him being a musician and proposed a law course. However, the mother encouraged him to continue. Handel studied music composition and key board performance from Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow, the organist of Liebfrauenkrche, in Halle. Handel followed his father’s wish and joined University of Halle to study law in 1702. Upon his father’s death on February 11, 1697, he left law for music as an organist at a reformed cathedral for one year.


Handle moved to Hamburg where he took the position of a violinist and harpsichordist in the orchestra of the opera house. He produced his operas, Nero and Almira, in 1705. He later produced Florindo and Daphne in 1708. Between the years 1706 and 1710, Handle travelled to Italy on an invitation by Gian Gastone and Ferdinando. At this time, the Pope had temporarily suspended opera. Handel decided to do gospel music. The popular one was Dixit Dominus, which he produced in 1707 followed by Numerous Cantatas.

In 1710, Handel became the Kapellmeister to George, Elector of Hanover, who afterwards became King George I of Great Britain. Handel moved permanently to London in 1712 where Queen Anne paid him $200 income yearly. While in London, Handel spent free times at cannons and laid foundation for his choral compositions. In 1726, Handel performed Scipio opera for the first time. The opera has remained the Regime slow march for British Grenadier Guards. After suffering and recovering from stroke, Handel abandoned opera and concentrated on oratorios production in 1740. The first oratorios were Messiah and Dublin performed on April 13, 1742 among others.


Upon moving to London, Handel faced competition from rivals as well as other opera houses. The opera houses in London could not support even a single Italian opera on English theatres. Secondly, in 1737, Handel’s Company went bankrupt and he later suffered a mild stroke. He went back to Germany, to Aachen Hospital for treatment which affected his career.

Death and Legacy

Handel was involved in an accident in 1750 on his way back from Germany between Hague and Haarlem, Netherlands. The accident left him seriously injured. The following year, he lost the sight due to an unknown cause. Eight years later, in 1759, he died at the age of 74. He was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Major Contributions

Germany academic Bernd Baselt catalogued Handel’s work between 1978 and 1986 in his publications. The catalogue is being used as a modern numbering system designated as ‘’HWV’’.


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