George Frideric Handel is one of the most revered classical musicians of the 17th century and quickly rose through the ranks and gained international fame for his work.
Born in 1685 to George Handel (1622-97) and Dorothea Taust, Handel displayed musical tendencies from a relatively young age.
Despite his father's strict insistence that he forget about music and instead focus his attention on law, Handell practiced his skills on the hidden clavichord in the attic, with his mother's encouragement.
After travelling with his father across the country to visit a relative, who was serving as valet to Duke Johann Adolf, Handel was encouraged to play the organ.
So impressed was the Duke with Handel's skills that he convinced his father to let the young musician study music under Friedrich Zachow.
This opened up many doors for Handel, who then went on to play the violin and harpsichord for the only opera company in Germany that existed outside the royal courts, as part of the orchestra of the Hamburg Oper am Gänsemarkt (Goose Market Theatre).
Despite his strong focus on music, Handel did study law in Halle University in 1702, although he left a year afterwards to travel to Hamburg.
Following that, he produced his first two operas, Almira and Nero, in 1705.
Later, he decided to take his musical genius to London, where he played for German Prince George, who later became King George I of Great Britain and Ireland.
It was from there that his career really began to take off as he formed a reputation for being one of the most renowned and well-respected composers of the century.
In 1719, Handel was invited to become the master of the orchestra at the Royal Academy of Music, which was one of the first Italian opera company's in London.
From there, he went on to produce several operas with the Royal Academy of Music.
However, although these were well-received, they were not as profitable as expected and did not produce particularly lucrative returns for the company.
Eventually, Handel broke away from the Royal Academy and produced Italian operas on his own.
However, like many fashion trends, the appetite for such operas was very quickly beginning to wane, and he then decided to make his mark by producing Oratios instead.
This proved to somewhat of a turning point for Handel and ended up being a big hit among London audiences.
Handel very soon became 'the latest craze' in 17th century London and he went on to produce over 14 concerts made up primarily of oratorios.
Some of his most famous pieces include Messiah, which was first performed at the New Music Hall in 1742.
Shortly afterwards, he went onto produce other greats including Alexander Balus and Hark! Hark! He strikes the golden lyre, Daphne (Die verwandelte Daphne) and Florindo (Der beglückte Florindo), to name but a few.
Sadly, Handel died in 1759, and had lost his vision shortly before his death due to cataracts. However, his disability failed to quench his musical passion, and he continued composing until the day he died.
So loved was he, that over 3,000 mourners attended his funeral.
George Frideric Handel is one of the most revered classical musicians of the 17th century and quickly rose through the ranks and gained international fame for his work. Born in 1685 to George Handel (1622-97) and Dorothea Taust, Handel displayed…