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Jan Vaclav Stamic

Category: Musician

Learn more about Jan Vaclav Stamic

Born in Deutschbrod, Bohemia on June 18, 1717, Johann Wenzel Anton Stamitz (Czech: Jan Vaclav Antonin Stamic) was a Bohemian composer and violinist. From 1741/2 on, he spent most of his professional career as a court musician in Mannheim; he is considered the founder of the so-called Mannheim school.

On July 1, 1744, Stamitz married Maria Antonia Luneborn, with whom he had five children, three of whom survived infancy: Carl Philipp, Maria Franziska, and Anton Thadaus Nepomuk. The boys eventually followed in their father’s footsteps, likewise becoming composers of the Mannheim school.

From 1754-55, Stamitz stayed in Paris with the music patron Alexandre Le Riche de La Poupeliniere. His first public performance there was at a Concert Spirituel on September 8, 1754. Gratified by his success there, Stamitiz published in Paris his Orchestral Trios, Op. 1.

Having returned to Mannheim in the latter half of 1755, Stamitz died there on March 27, 1757.

Stylistically, Stamitiz’s music exemplifies a transitional phase between the Baroque and Classical periods. Stamitz’s most important compositions are his 10 orchestral trios and 58 symphonies. The orchestral trios are in fact symphonies for strings, but they may be performed as chamber music one player to a part. Stamitiz also composed various concertos, chiefly for violin and flute, but also for viola, harpsichord, clarinet, and oboe, which was a newly-invented instrument. His C Major concerto was famously recorded by the French flautist Jean-Pierre Rampal. He also composed a significant amount of chamber music and eight vocal works, the best known of which is his concert Mass in D.