George Frideric Handel
1685 - 1759
Georg Friedrich Händel was born on February 23rd 1685. He was born in Halle, Germany, and despite his eagerness to become a musician, was disallowed by his father, so had to conduct his musical training in secret. After spending a brief spell in Italy studying law to appease his father and, out of his control and knowledge, expanding his musical pursuits, Händel was appointed as Kapellmeister for German Prince George of the Hanoverian family in 1710. He moved with Prince George to London, where he was crowned King George I of Great Britain and Ireland. At this point he became George Friderich Handel and strove to be accepted by the British people. In 1712, he decided to settle in England permanently, receiving an annual income of £200 from the royal family. At this time, he was composing a large number of works for a number of different patrons. He is largely held to be one of the greatest composers of the Baroque era remaining reasonably popular today. Works such as Water Music, Music for the Royal Fireworks and Messiah are still regularly performed and operas such as Julius Cesar have seen a recent resurgence in interest.