George Friederic Handel
Feb. 23, 1685 -to- April 14, 1759
German-born English Composer
Handelís father was a barber-surgeon and after displaying early musical
talents Handel began his studies. His first teacher was a composer who taught
him the basics at the keyboard. This composer also taught him in composing.
When Handel reached the age of 11 his father passed away. Handel was provided
education as a law student at a local university. Not dismissing his musical
skills he also kept a position, which lasted roughly a year, as an organist at a
local cathedral.Tiring of such a life, and wanting more music, Handel left for
Hamburg where he would join the violin section of an orchestra, take on
harpsichord, and compose his first opera.
Between 1706-1710 Handel traveled Italy meeting some of the reknown Italian
musicians of his time. The many works he composed during this time were very
sucessful. After gaining a global reputation in Italy, Handel traveled to London
where he continued to create sucessful works.
Having spent a while in London, Handel eventually gained a position as a
musical director to the Duke of Chandos. Handel would remain in England, but the
sytle of Italian operas, including those which Handel wrote, eventually lost the
appreciation of the English aristocrats. Regardless, Handel clung to the style
and struggled with it.
Eventually his Italian opera company went bankrupt and Handel later had a
mild stroke. He did, however, recover with enough time to compose many more
pieces. Handel went on to experience many difficulties in his vision and was
barely able to finish one of his final works. He died on August 14, 1759.