George Frideric Handel Fact File Biography: Lifespan: 1685 – 1759 *** Full Name: George Frideric Handel *** Occupation: German Born British Baroque Composer *** Date of Birth: George Frideric Handel was born on February 23rd 1685 *** Place of Birth: George Frideric Handel was born in Halle, Duchy of Magdeburg, Holy Roman Empire *** Family background: His father was Georg Handel and his mother was Dorothea Taust. His father was a man of sixty three years when George was born and his plans for his son’s future were for him to study Civil Law *** Early life and childhood: He grew up at the court of Saxe-Weissenfels and the Margraviate of Brandenburg as his father was a renowned barber-surgeon *** Education: George Frideric Handel would have received a very good education as befitted his father station in such a prestigious household ***
George Frideric Handel Fact 1: George Frideric Handel was born on February 23rd 1685. George Frideric Handel was born the same year as two other famous composers, Johann Sebastian Bach and Domenico Scarlatti.
George Frideric Handel Fact 2: From an early age George Frideric Handel showed a natural aptitude for music but his father forbid him to touch an instrument.
George Frideric Handel Fact 3: Little did his father know, he managed to secretly arrange for a little clavichord to be smuggled into his house and put in an attic room so he could sneak upstairs and play to his heart’s content without his father knowing.
George Frideric Handel Fact 4: He accompanied his father on a trip to Weissenfels to visit with a relative serving the Duke of Johann Adolf I, as a butler.
George Frideric Handel Fact 5: Someone placed him, only a little boy, onto the stool of an organ and much to everybody’s surprise he began to play. So well did he play that the Duke assisted young Handel in persuading his father to let him take lessons with Freidrich Wilhelm Zachow who was the composer for the church services of the Lutherans and he taught Handel about counterpoint and harmony as well as copying and analyzing scores. He also gave him lessons on the violin, oboe, organ and harpsichord.
George Frideric Handel Fact 6: Complying with his father’s bidding George Frideric Handel did attend law school under Christian Thomasius and attended the University of Halle.
George Frideric Handel Fact 7: In 1705 George Frideric Handel produced his first two operas, Nero and Almira and by 1708 he had produced a further two, Daphen and Florindo.
George Frideric Handel Fact 8: The following year he traveled by invitation of Ferdinando de’Medici to Italy.
George Frideric Handel Fact 9: By 1710 he had become the Kapellmeister Prince George, the Elector of Hanover and future King George I of Great Britain and Ireland.
George Frideric Handel Fact 10: In 1712 George Frideric Handel had made up his mind to make England his permanent home and would earn himself an annual income from Queen Anne upon composing the Utrecht Te Deum and Jubilate of two hundred pounds.
George Frideric Handel Fact 11: Another of his more famous patrons would be The 3rd Earl of Burlington as well as the 4th Earl of Cork.
George Frideric Handel Fact 12: In 1717 George Frideric Handel became the house composer for Cannons in Middlesex and a piece he wrote for The 1st Duke of Chandos, Acis and Galatea would become his most famous work of which Winton Dean said “the music catches breath and disturbs the memory.”.
George Frideric Handel Fact 13: By 1727 for the Coronation ceremony of King George II he would be commissioned to write four anthems. Zadok the Priest was one of the four and has been used for every coronation ceremony since.
George Frideric Handel Fact 14: The Queen’s Theatre has hosted the openings of more than twenty five of Handel’s operas.
George Frideric Handel Fact 15: Unfortunately in 1737 at fifty two years of age George Frideric Handel suffered a stroke which left four fingers of his right hand useless which meant he could no longer perform.George Frideric Handel Fact 16: Having given up the opera business shortly after his stroke, George Frideric Handel composed Music for the Royal Fireworks in 1749 with twelve thousand people in attendance at the first performance.
George Frideric Handel Fact 17: Traveling back to London from Germany in August of 1750, George Frideric Handel was involved in a serious carriage accident between The Hague and Haarlem in the Netherlands.
George Frideric Handel Fact 18: George Frideric Handel died on April 14th 1759 at the age of seventy-four years of age. The body of George Frideric Handelwas laid to rest in Westminster Abbey.
Influence & Legacy of George Frideric Handel:
The compositions of George Frideric Handel included 29 oratorios, 42 operas, 16 organ concerts and over 120 cantatas, trios and duets. Two men, Sir Samuel Hellier and Granville Sharp, collected and preserved his work.
Short Facts about George Frideric Handel for Kids
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