Inside Handel Hendrix’s House: London’s Most Exclusive Museum
One of London’s most unusual museums is Handel Hendrix House, next door to the Georgian houses that two of the world’s greatest musicians, George Frideric Handel and Jimi Hendrix, used to call home. The museum has just re-opened, after a major £3 million renovation made Handel’s house fully accessible for the first time, restoring the basement and ground floor, until recently a luxury goods store. The upper floors, which first opened as a museum in 2001, have also been renovated and improved to give the visitor a real sense of entering the world of musical genius.
Filled with musical memorabilia, history, and even recorded music by Handel and Hendrix, this museum is a holy grail for music lovers. Live music is also a featured part of the museum, with a guitarist often playing in Hendrix’s apartment and classical recitals often at Handel’s house.
George Frideric Handel lived at 25 Brook Street from 1723 until his death in 1759, and it was here that he achieved his greatest commercial success. He has written and rehearsed his greatest works, incl The messiah With the famous “Hallelujah Chorus”, perhaps the most famous piece of classical music ever written. His hymn Zadok the Priest, also written here, has accompanied the coronation of every British monarch since George II (for whom it was written in 1727), including His Majesty Charles III. Simon Daniels, Principal of Handel Hendrix, says: “As we saw at the Coronation, Handel’s music is as fresh and powerful as the day it was written and has the power to inspire and move us. He is the great London composer.”
All of the historic rooms in Handel’s house are presented as they were in the 1740s, when the composer was on a new wave of creative energy and achieved great commercial success writing dramatic oratorios. In the actual room in which Handel composed The messiah, There is a wonderful audiovisual presentation about the writing of the wonderful piece. Throughout Handel’s home are works of art recently acquired to create a similar collection of over 100 artworks Handel owned in Brook Street.
Visitors begin their tour in the recreated basement kitchen, just as it was when Handel lived there, thanks to carefully detailed research and an inventory made shortly after the composer’s death. On the ground floor are the parlors in which Handel entertained his aristocratic guests and patrons and where his assistant, J. C. Smith, sold tickets and subscriptions to new works. Upstairs, you’ll find Handel’s bedroom and salon where he gave intimate concerts.
In 1968, Jimi Hendrix moved into the apartment next door at No. 23. Here, in the one place he said he truly felt at home, Hendrix entertained, inspired, and collaborated with other icons of 1960s British rock. The apartment was restored in 2016 and opened to the public. Hendrix lived here with his British girlfriend Kathy Etchingham and she helped restore the flat to what it was when they lived there. As part of the recent renovations, for the first time, visitors can walk up and down the stairs leading to his apartment, a new exhibition also features a film illustrating his influence on musicians and creators, and materials revealed by Handel Hendrix House through its national website Your. Experience” appeals to the memories, images and stories of people’s encounters with Jimi Hendrix across the country.
Handel Hendrix House, 25 Brook Street, London Wed-Sun 10.00-5.00. Tickets: £14.00 / Students £10.00 / Free Under 16.
Handeliad Festival Handel and the Eighteenth Century: 21-24 September 2023 It takes place at Handel Hendrix House and Boughton House in Northamptonshire. The festival includes a performance of Handel Assis and Galatia by The English Concert, and solo concerts by harpsichordists Julian Perkins and Stephen Devine and Historical Conversations.
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(tags for translation)Handel’s house in London