George Frederick Handel was born in Halley, Germany near Berlin in 1685, the same year that Johann Sebastian Bach was born. His father was a prosperous Barber-Surgeon.

His father wanted him to study law, but by age 9, his outstanding musical ability had manifested that he was allowed to study with a local organist and composer.

He became a famous composer and his rise was so wonderful that he could compose and give musical lesson to some at age 11. At 18, he had finished reading law in the university and he speaks German, French, and Italian, he also plays violin in the orchestra.

His music career took him around the world. At the age of 21, he produced his first opera “Almira”, he produced an Italian Opera called “Rinaldo” in 1705.

He first visited England in 1710 and by 1712 he settled there for the rest of his life. He became England’s most important composer and a favourite of Queen Ann.

In 1741, his most popular oratorio was composed and he titled it “Messiah” (written within 24 days and first performed in Dublin). The most popular anthem in this oratorio is “Hallelujah”. It was this work that turned his earlier poverty to riches.

In the later part of his life, Handel did not enjoy good health. His last twenty two years were spent struggling against paralysis and blindness, yet it was in the last twenty years that he wrote the Messiah. He became partially blind in 1751 and totally in 1753.

He died in London in 1759 and was buried in Westminster Abbey. Three thousand mourners attended his funeral.

These are some of his compositions;

  1. Messiah
  2. Soul
  3. Israel in Egypt
  4. Joshua
  5. Esther
  6. Samson
  7. Almira
  8. Rinaldo
  9. Orlando
  10. Julius causer
  11. Rodelinder, etc.