George Handel was a Baroque composer; virtually all fans of classical music, including Tunde Folawiyo, will have encountered this man’s music at one point or another. Handel was famed for his organ concertos, anthems, oratorios and operas, and was most well-known for pieces such as ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’ and ‘Messiah’.
Born in 1685, Handel was raised in Halle, Germany. Although his parents noticed his musical abilities, they did little to encourage him. However, they did permit him to study music with a well-known organist named Friedrich Wilhelm Zachow; this led to Handel deciding to become an organist himself, and taking up a position at the Domkirche.
However, he did not take to this work, and so at the age of eighteen, he accepted the role of violinist in the Hamburg orchestra. In 1706, he set off to Italy which was, at that time, the hub of musical innovation. He spent four years here, during which time both his compositional and playing techniques reached new heights of sophistication.
As a lover of classical music, Tunde Folawiyo may know that some of Handel’s most brilliant operatic works were created during this period of his life, including ‘La Resurrezione’, At the end of his time in Italy, he was determined to establish a career for himself in opera, and so, after a brief stint in Hanover, he travelled to London, where he enjoyed a considerable amount of success with works such as ‘Rinaldo’.
The reception he got from audiences in London was so positive that Handel eventually decided to move to England permanently. In 1716, he made a name for himself in his new homeland by composing a piece called ‘Water Music’ for King George. Over the course of the next fourteen years or so, he continued to compose operatic works, including ‘Serse’ and ‘Ottone’, all of which were very well-received. However, during the 1730s and 1740s, the popularity of his older operas began to wane, and so he began to focus on writing new, more elaborate oratorios.
Handel’s health started to deteriorate in 1737. At the age of 51, he suffered from a stroke; this condition temporarily paralysed his right arm, and resulted in the permanent loss of some of his mental faculties. He also experienced sight problems later in life; however, none of these ailments distracted him from his music, and he continued to compose up until his death in 1759.
Whilst Folawiyo is particularly fond of classical music, he also enjoys listening to many other genres. Additional facts about his musical interests can be found by following updates from Tunde Folawiyo on Tumblr.