Handel’s house in London saw the birth of ‘Messiah,’ ‘Royal Fireworks’ and more

October 8, 2014
Photo: Handel House in London
The Handel House in London.

But perhaps England’s most famous composer is not British at all: the German-born George Frideric Handel.

And unlike many composers who moved around a lot (think Mozart and Beethoven), Handel liked to stay put. And once he was on his feet financially in London, he rented a newly built house at 25 Brook St. in the city’s growing middle/upper class neighborhood. Handel lived there until he died in 1759.

For 36 years, the walls of 25 Brook St. were privy to some of the greatest music ever written:

  • the oratorios “Samson,” “Judas Maccabaeus” and “Messiah”
  • the coronation anthem “Zadok the Priest”
  • the opera “Xerxes”
  • and one of the last pieces Handel wrote: “Music for the Royal Fireworks."
Image: George Frideric Handel
George Frideric Handel.

(Bonus trivia: Jimi Hendrix lived in the house next door during the late 1960s.)

If you are the winner of the trip for two to London during CPR’s fall pledge drive, we encourage you to go see the Handel House and bring back pictures for us!