Georg Friedrich Händel

Georg Friedrich Handel was born 1685 in Halle, and died in London 1759 having lived and worked in Germany, Italy and England. In Hamburg, where he became a second violinist and subsequently harpsichordist at the opera house in 1703, Handel composed his first operas. In Rome he met amongst others Arcangelo Corelli and Domenico Scarlatti in early 1707.

In 1720 Handel was appointed Musical Director of the Royal Academy of Music in London, becoming a naturalised English Citizen in 1727. When he died in 1759 he had become one of the most successful composers of his time, and arguably one of the wealthiest, too. Handel is famous primarily for his operas and oratorios (among them The Messiah, 1741), but also for his concerti grossi, his organ concertos and some works of his chamber music like the Violin Sonata in D major (HWV 371).

Most of Handel's keyboard works date from the period of 1720–1740 and many of which were printed during the composer’s lifetime. Often played are his so-called 'Blacksmith Variations', the final movement of his great Keyboard Suite in E major (HWV 430).