Personalities | Johann Wenzel Anton Stamitz | Classical Era | Classical

(Yo’-han Vent’-zel An’-ton Shta’-mit) 1717–57
Bohemian composer

Born in Bohemia, by 1741 Stamitz was working at the Mannheim court, where he became leading violinist in 1743, Konzertmeister soon after, and director in 1750. He made the Mannheim orchestra the most famous in Europe for its discipline and its capacity to achieve new effects. Although he composed concertos and chamber music, it is principally for his symphonies that he is important. He was the first to write four-movement works consistently, and he introduced a new style of orchestration, in which the roles assigned to the wind instruments – often used for sustaining and giving harmonic support – are distinct from those of the strings. Influenced by Italian composers, especially Jommelli, and by the virtuosity of his orchestra, he developed a new, dynamic style of orchestral composition. Stamitz’s sons, Carl (1745–1801) and Anton (1750–c. 1800), were also composers.

Recommended Recording:
Symphonies, New Zealand Chamber Orchestra (cond) Donald Armstrong (Naxos)

Introduction | Classical Era | Classical
Personalities | Stephen Storace | Classical Era | Classical


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