b Nejmecky Brod, baptised 19 June 1717
d Mannheim, 27 March 1757, aged thirty-nine
His early instruction was from his father. From 1728 to 1734 he attended the Jesuit Gymnasium in Jahlava, and from 1734 to 1735 he was at Prague University. He was appointed to the Mannheim court in 1741 as violin virtuoso, also playing viola d'amore, cello and double-bass. He advanced rapidly at court and by 1750 was created director of instrumental music. He married in 1744 and had five children, including the composers Karl and Anton. In 1754 he undertook a year-long journey to Paris, where his work was immensely successful.
He wrote: twenty-nine symphonies, ten orchestral trios, seventeen violin concertos and many concertos for other instruments, and other orchestral works; many chamber works and sacred choral works and songs. A great deal of his output has been lost.