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Stamitz, Carl
Carl Stamitz
May 8, 1745 – November 9, 1801

Bohemian composer and violinist Carl Stamitz’s accomplishments are closely entwined with the innovative Mannheim Orchestra, one of the first modern symphonies in Europe.

His father, Johann, was already part of the Mannheim Orchestra. He taught his son his first lessons. However, the father died with Stamitz was just 11, and Carl pursued private lessons from other prominent composers. Later Stamitz followed his father in joining the Mannheim Orchestra. He wrote a handful of pieces during this time.

Stamitz virtuosity as a violinist was unquestioned. After an eight-year tenure at the Mannheim Orchestra, he decided to tour across Europe. He performed at famous Concert Spirituel in Paris with his brother, Anton. He resumed his travels, visiting a number of European cities. His tours spanned two decades. He continued composing while he did so, and achieved success publishing these works.

He later returned to Mannheim, and then accepted a post as concertmaster in Jena, and found work teaching there as well. Unfortunately, he slipped deeply into debt and struggled in the final years of his life. He died in 1801.

Stamitz is known for being part of the second generation of composers produced by the Mannheim school of playing, which emphasized crescendos, decrescendos, and rapidly ascending arpeggios.

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