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Georg Friedrich Händel (1734)
Born in Halle in the Electorate of Brandenburg, Georg Friedrich Händel (1685-1759) is the most important Baroque composer aside from Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750). His career, which was defined by operas such as Agrippina (premiered in 1709 in Venice), Rinaldo (1711 in London), and his famous Messiah (1742 in Dublin), led him from Halle to Hamburg, then to Italy, and finally to London (in 1712), where he settled for the rest of his life. (He adopted the spelling “Handel” when he became a British citizen in 1727). By the time of his death in 1759, Händel had achieved worldwide fame. He was buried with full state honors in Westminster Abbey. Portrait by an unknown artist, 1734.