While the major centers of composing during the Baroque Period were in Germany and Italy, Henry Purcell (1685-1695) made his mark in England. Having been apprenticed to the man in charge of maintaining the King's musical instruments, Purcell was eventually entrusted with tuning the organ at London's Westminster Abbey. Five years later, he became the Abbey's organist,organ maker, and composer. As an Abbey employee of King Charles II, Purcell was required to compose music for royal occasions, the stage, and the church. he is most well-known for his opera Dido and Aeneas. he died when he was only 36, and was buried in the aisle next to the Abbey's organ.
George Frideric Handel
1685 - 1759
Despite the accomplishments of Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Purcell, and others, George Frideric Handel and Johann Sebastian Bach were the two most influential Baroque composers. Bach and Handel were born in the same year, less than 100 miles apart in Germany, yet they never met. Both were tremendously productive, but only Handel received respect and acclaim during his lifetime. Handel is best known for his wonderful melodies and grand choral music. His most famous work, Messiah, is considered the greatest oratorio ever written.