George Frideric Handel

George Frideric Handel

Born: February 23, 1685, Halle, Germany

Died: April 14, 1759, London, England

Handel was one of the greatest Baroque-era composers and famous for his operas, oratorios, and cantatas.

Born in Halle to a barber-surgeon who wished him to study law (which he started), Handel showed musical talent at age 7, and was encouraged by his mother to study music with a local church organist.  After his father's death in 1703 he became a professional organist for churches in Halle and Hamburg.  After time working in Italy he became Kapellmeister to George, Elector of Hanover.  When George became George I of Great Britain, Handel moved to London in 1710, where he lived for the remainder of his life.

Handel is known for his prodigious output: he has written 42 operas (including Serse, Orlando, Agrippina, Giulio Cesare, and Rodelinda), 29 oratorios (including Saul, Israel in Egypt, Sampson, Judas Maccabaeus, and Messiah), over 120 cantatas (including Ode to St. Cecilia's Day, Acis and Galatea, and Semele), numerous trios and duets, chamber pieces, religious anthems and works (including the "Dettingen" Te Deum), and sixteen organ concerti.

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