Georg Friedrich Händel (1685–1759)

The Baroque era would be unthinkable without George Frideric Handel. A very prolific composer, he is known all over the world not only for his Hallelujah from the Messiah HWV 56, but also for his many operas, oratorios and instrumental works.

Handel first worked as an organist at the cathedral and palace church in Halle. This was followed by a post as violinist at the Hamburg Opera starting in 1703. He studied the Italian opera during his stay in Italy from 1706 to 1710, after which he spent his time alternately in London and Hanover, where he was appointed court Kapellmeister in 1710. In England he celebrated royal triumphs so magnificently with his music that he was made an English citizen in 1727.

After several attempts to compile a Complete Edition in England, Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig released the first “Complete Works in 94 volumes” starting in 1858 and edited by Friedrich Chrysander and the German Handel Society. In recent times it is above all the internationally renowned Baroque expert Ton Koopman who has gathered encomiums with his edition of Handel's organ concertos.