Johann Stamitz (1717-1757) was one of the one the most influential figures in European music during the mid-18th century. Born in Bohemia and educated in Prague, he was probably engaged as a violinist by the Mannheim Court in 1741-42 as a result of contacts made during the coronation in Prague (as King of Bohemia) of the Bavarian Elector Carl Albert, one of whose closest allies was the Elector Palatine. In 1743 he was named "Erster Hoff Violinist" (First Court-Violinist); in 1745 or 1746 - the date is uncertain - he was awarded the title Concertmeister and in 1750, was appointed to the newly-created post of "Instrumental-Music Director". Under Stamitz's direction the orchestra developed into a formidable ensemble and within was a nucleus of excellent soloists and talented composers foremost among them Stamitz himself. The ten orchestral trios appear to have been composed relatively late in Stamitz's career. These fascinating works avoid the melodic intricacy of chamber music as well as the simplified textures and slow harmonic rhythms common in orchestral music and work equally well for trios or string ensemble.