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Johann Stamitz

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Johann Wenzel Anton Stamitz (Czech: Jan Václav Antonín Stamic) (1717–1757) was a Czech composer and violinist. Johann was the father of Carl Stamitz and Anton Stamitz, also composers.

Stamitz was born in Německý Brod on 17th June 1717. He was the third child born and the first to survive past infancy. He was baptised on June 19, 1717 and probably born a day or two before the baptism. His name appears in the registry as Jan Waczlaw Antonin Stamitz. The Stamitz family was very artistic as Johann’s father, Antonin Ignac, was organist at the Dean’s Church before becoming a merchant, landowner and town councilor. His three brothers were very artistic as well. Joseph Fantisek was a painter and Antonin Tadeas and Vaclav Jan were both musicians at some point in their lives. Stamitz received his first schooling in Nemecky Brod and his first musical instruction was probably from his father. In 1728, he enrolled in the Jesuit gymnasium in Jihlava where he received training from the Jesuits of Bohemia, whose high standard of musical education produced students who were the premiere musicians in Europe.

Stamitz spent the academic year 1734-1735 at the University of Prague. After only one year, he left the university to pursue a career as a violin virtuoso. The six-year period between Stamitz’ departure from the university in 1735 and the time he was employed in Mannheim around 1741 is obscure.

Stamitz was appointed by the Mannheim court either in 1741 or 1742.

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