Born at Halle in Saxony in 1685, George Frideric Handel showed a great love of music at a very young age. His father attempted to discourage him from becoming a musician, but Handel was put under the tuition of the chief organist of the town, who recognised the talent in the boy. At 17, George went to the University of Halle, but after 1 year, he went to Hamburg working as a musician of the opera house. At 20, his Operas were being performed there. At 25 he was designated the Kapellmeister(or court Musician) by the Elector of Hanover. He wrote 40 operas, all in Italian, but his most famous work was an oratorio called the Messiah, which is still played at Christmas-time. For the last 6 years of his life, he was completely blind, and he died in 1759. [AW] {NR}

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