G.F Handel Kari Andrews
Composer 1st Period Choir
1685-1759


George Frideric Handel was born in 1685. The exact date is February 23, 1685 in Halle, Germany, but spent most of his adult life in England. Handel combined German, French, Italian, and English musical styles in about 40 operas, 20 oratorios, and several other vocal pieces, instrumental, and church music. In addition to Handel's music study, he also trained in law at Halle University. Although Handel was appointed to the organ at the Halle Cathedral in 1702 (age 17), He moved to Hamburg the next year. This is where he obtained a position as a violinist, then later as a harpsichordist, in the opera orchestra. After performing his "Saint John Passion" and his first opera, "Almira", in 1705 (age 19), Handel then went to Italy. By the time he had gotten to Italy (which was the musical center of Europe) his work was already known for. While in Italy Handel met some leading musicians.

In 1710 (age 24) Handel succeeded his friend Agostino Steffani as director of music for the "Elector of Hanover". A few months later, he left Italy for London. Here he did many things, for example he composed the "Ode for the Queen's Birthday" and an opera called, "Rinaldo." These are only some of the pieces he composed while in London.

As Handel was a composer, producer, and directors of operas, he continued until the year 1741 (age 56) despite changing public taste, backstage rivalries, and financial problems. In 1742 (age 57), his famous "Messiah" was written for a performance in Dublin, Ireland.

After recovering from several months of bad health (stroke to be exact), In 1751 (age 66) Handel was beginning to have trouble with his eyesight. Two years after that, in 1753 (age 68), he nearly became blind. He then died on April 14, 1759 (age 74), and was buried in Westminster Abbey. This is why we remember this man's wonderful and talented work and for what he has done to change our feelings about classical music.