Handel (1685-1759), baptised as Georg Friederich Händel, was a German composer who became a British citizen later in life. When he became a Briton, he removed the dots above the "a" and changed the spelling of Georg and Friederich.

Handel lived in the late Baroque period, and wrote many operas and oratorios. His most famous oratorio is the 'Messiah'. Handel also wrote anthems, chamber music and orchestral music, including the 'Water Music' and 'Music for the Royal Fireworks'.

In 1710, Handel became 'Kapellmeister' (music director) to George, Elector of Hanover, who would soon be King George I of Great Britain. In 1724, Handel moved into a newly built house in 25 Brook Street, London, where he lived until his death in 1759, 35 years later. The house is now called Handel House Museum and is open to the public.

In April 1739, Handel had a stroke, yet it did not stop him from composing. In 1742, his oratorio 'Messiah' was first performed in Dublin. Ten years later, it became famous in London when it was performed in aid of the Foundling Hospital. Handel performed it there every year, which brought the hospital about £600 for each performance.

In 1751, Handel started to lose his eyesight. After a botched operation, he became completely blind and died 8 years later. More than 3,000 mourners attended his funeral. He was buried with full state honours in Westminster Abbey.

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