George Frideric Handel (1685-1759), German-born composer, who worked primarily in England, considered one of the most important masters of the baroque period (from about 1600 to 1750). Handel and his German contemporary Johann Sebastian Bach are considered the greatest composers of the early 18th century. Their music represents the culmination of musical genres of the baroque era. Whereas Bach’s output consisted chiefly of instrumental and vocal works originally conceived for Lutheran church services, Handel’s most important works are his operas and oratorios, composed for the theater. The most famous of these is Messiah, which was first performed in 1742. Handel also made important contributions to instrumental music.