Stamitz, Johann (Wenzel Anton)


Stamitz, Johann (Wenzel Anton)

(baptized June 19, 1717, Deutschbrod, Bohemia—died March 27?, 1757, Mannheim, Palatinate) Bohemian-born German composer and violinist. He joined the elector's court in Mannheim c. 1741, and he soon became director of its orchestra, which he built into the finest in Europe. He wrote some 75 symphonies, in which he helped establish the four-movement form as the standard and introduced the orchestral crescendo to Germany from Italian music. He and his students (including his sons) made up what is called the Mannheim school. His son Carl (1745–1801), also a composer and violinist, played in Mannheim, toured widely as a soloist, and wrote more than 50 symphonies.

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