George Frideric Handel
(1685-1759)

Died aged 74

George Frideric (or Frederick) Handel (/ˈhændəl/; born Georg Friedrich Händel, German pronunciation: [ˈhɛndəl]; 23 February 1685 (O.S.) [(N.S.) 5 March] – 14 April 1759) was a German, later British baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and organ concertos. Handel received important training in Halle and worked as a composer in Hamburg and Italy before settling in London in 1712; he became a naturalised British subject in 1727. He was strongly influenced both by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and by the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition. Within fifteen years, Handel had started three commercial opera companies to supply the English nobility with Italian opera. Musicologist Winton Dean writes that his operas show that "Handel was not only a great composer; he was a dramatic genius of the first order." As Alexander's Feast (1736) was well received, Handel made a transition to English choral works. After his success with Messiah (1742) he never performed an Italian opera again. Almost blind, and having lived in England for nearly fifty years, he died in 1759, a respected and rich man. His funeral was given full state honours, and he was buried in Westminster Abbey in London. Born the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti, Handel is regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era, with works such as Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks and Messiah remaining steadfastly popular. One of his four Coronation Anthems, Zadok the Priest (1727), composed for the coronation of George II, has been performed at every subsequent British coronation, traditionally during the sovereign's anointing. Handel composed more than forty operas in over thirty years, and since the late 1960s, with the revival of baroque music and historically informed musical performance, interest in Handel's operas has grown.

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Commemorated on 2 plaques

Photo of George Frideric Handel blue plaque
Spudgun67 on Wikimedia Commons
Photo of James Brydges and George Frideric Handel plaque
Robin Sones on Geograph

George Frideric Handel 1685-1759 composer lived in this house from 1723 and died here

25 Brook Street, Westminster, W1, London, United Kingdom where he lived and died (1759)

St Lawrence Whitchurch rebuilt 1715 with baroque interior by James Brydges, later Duke of Chandos, who lived in nearby 'Cannons' and employed G. F. Handel as composer-in-residence

St Lawrence’s Church, Whitchurch Lane, Canons Park, London, United Kingdom where he was