Short Biography: George F. Handel

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George F. Handel

Brittany Shellem
March 11, 2013
Monday 6:00pm

Shellem 1

George F. Handel, a man born in the same time as Johann

Sebastian Bach, has been recognized as one of the most underrated

Baroque composers. Handel was born in the same time as Bach and only

50 miles away. This could largely be related to the reason why Handel is

so underrated. Handel spent a large part of his childhood sneaking away

and playing instruments behind his father's back. With his mother's

assistance, Handel learned how to play the organ and eventually won

his father's consent to study music. Success in music as a child led him

to compose pieces and write operas.

In the early part of Handel's life he spent time playing the organ

for the Calvinist Cathedral. After his stay with the Calvinist Cathedral,

Handel played violin and harpsichord for the only opera company in

Germany that existed outside the royal courts, and also taught private


Having inspiration from playing in an opera, George Handel

wrote his first opera, Almira in 1704. Handel found great success in his

opera. The opera was performed twenty times in total until its place was

taken by Handel's next opera, Nero. After his newly found success

Shellem 2

George Handel moved to Italy in 1706 where he gained a wealth of

knowledge on setting Italian lyrics to voice.

In 1710, Geoge Handel was appointed Kapellmeister at Hanover,

but soon took leave to London. Then, in 1719, he became musical

director of the Royal Academy of Music. Much of Handel's time during

the 1720's and 1730's was spent composing operas. While in the midst

of his operas, Handel found the time to compose many other works.

During the last few years of the 1730's, Handels operas were not as

successful. Facing his own mortality in the opera world, Handel

responded by focusing more on oratorio. Handel is best known for his...
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