b Mannheim, baptised 8 May 1745
b Jena, 9 November 1801, aged fifty-six
He was the son of Johann Stamitz, who was his first teacher. He was second violinist with the electoral orchestra at Mannheim from 1762 to 1770 and became a brilliant technician. In 1770 he went to Paris, gaining great success both as violinist and as composer, and from 1777 led the life of a travelling virtuoso. Despite his success he became completely impoverished, and his debts were so great that on his death his possessions had to be auctioned off.
He wrote: over fifty symphonies, thirty-eight symphonies concertantes, more than sixty concerti, a huge output of chamber music for which he is chiefly remembered, and some vocal works.