The museum comprises the neighbouring homes of these two great musicians.
This beautifully restored Georgian town house at 25 Brook Street was home to the great baroque composer George Frideric Handel from 1723 until his death in 1759. It was his first private home in London, marking a significant change in his domestic arrangements. Up to 1723 he had lived with a number of his wealthy patrons and so his move to Brook Street indicates that he had achieved financial stability thanks to the success of his Italian operas and his court appointment earlier in the year to the Chapel Royal. He composed some of the greatest music in English history there, including Messiah, Zadok the Priest and Music for the Royal Fireworks.
The Handel House Museum opened to the public in 2001. It has been restored as faithfully as possible to the early Georgian interiors of 25 Brook Street. As well as displaying portraits of Handel and his contemporaries, the house holds frequent music rehearsals, weekly concerts, special events and regular exhibitions.
Legendary American guitarist, singer and songwriter Jimi Hendrix lived on the top floor flat at neighbouring 23 Brook Street in 1968–9, and is said to have described it as ‘my first real home of my own’. From February 2016 his flat was opened to the public as part of the museum. It has been painstakingly recreated to look just as it did when he lived there.
The Handel House collection includes items of fine art, manuscripts and printed material related to the life, work and times of the composer. Included are early editions of operas and oratorios, prints, portraits, medallions and sculpture.