Carl Stamitz received his earliest musical training from his father, Johann Stamitz, and in the years immediately following his early death, from the court musicians Christian Cannabich, Ignaz Holzbauer and Franz Xaver Richter.
Extant orchestral registers for the period 1762-1770 list Carl Stamitz as a second violinist in the court orchestra, a position which enabled him to forge a brilliant performing technique as well as study the contemporary Mannheim repertoire.
Stamitz left Mannheim in 1770 and quickly established himself in Paris as a composer and performer. He toured extensively and achieved an extraordinary level of popularity during the remaining 30 years of his life although he was continually plagued by money worries.
At the time of his death he was so heavily in debt that his possessions had to auctioned to help pay his creditors.