Handel & Hendrix in London


in The West End

George Frederick Handel lived in this 18th-century Mayfair building for 36 years until his death in 1759. This is where he composed some of his finest works, including Water Music, The Messiah, Zadok the Priest and Fireworks Music. The house at No 23, now incorporated into the museum, was home to American guitarist Jimi Hendrix (1942–70), who lived there for less than a year from 1968.

Early editions of Handel’s operas and oratorios, portraits of musicians and singers who worked with Handel, and musical instruments are in the composer's music and composition rooms on the 1st floor; musicians regularly come to practise so you may be treated to a free concert. On the 2nd floor are Handel's bedroom (where he died) and dressing room; there's also a shop here. The volunteer staff are very knowledgeable. Ticketed events at the house include plays, concerts and recitals.

The 3rd floor is devoted to Hendrix, with a brief but comprehensive exhibition, photo gallery and record room. Most fetching is the fully restored 1960s-style bedroom Hendrix shared with his girlfriend Kathy Etchingham, complete with vintage turntable and television set, overflowing ashtrays and an overhead canopy made from an Indian shawl.