Franz Anton Hoffmeister (1754-1812) was born in Rothenburg am Neckar in May 1754. When just fourteen years of age he arrived in Vienna to study law but was so entranced by the citys rich and varied musical life that upon graduating he decided to devote his life to music. By the 1780s he had become one of the citys most popular composers with an extensive and diverse catalogue of works to his credit. Hoffmeisters reputation today, however, rests almost exclusively on his activities as a music publisher. In 1785 he established one of the first publishing houses in Vienna and over the next fifteen years Hoffmeister issued works by many prominent Viennese composers, among them Pleyel, Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven. As an enterprising composer and one moreover with a strong interest in publishing it is hardly surprising that Hoffmeister wrote so prolifically in many genres. Between 1781 and 1806 he composed and published 34 string quartets. The three Op.14 Quartets were advertised in the Wiener Zeitung on 15 January 1791 as the composers newest works. Although modest in scope and emotional depth, all three works reveal Hoffmeister as a craftsman of refined musical sensibilities. They show a clear grasp of the conversational style of the genre, as cultivated especially by his great compatriot and true master of the genre, Joseph Haydn, and reveal a kinship with the Mozartian string quartet style in their translucent scoring, harmonic richness and melodic invention.