The career of Giovanni Battista Sammartini (Milan, 1700/1701-1775) fully reflects the important stylistic developments that took place in Europe during the 18th century: from the Baroque style, through the gallant idioms and right up to the early days of classicism. His was an exceptional musical personality, which remained on the international musical scene for a good fifty years without ever yielding to the blandishments of fashion. Instead Sammartini continued to open out new paths for the younger contemporaries with whom he came into contact: Gluck, Boccherini, Mozart, etc. Though his name is associated above all with the origins of the symphony, the earliest examples of which date back to the 1730s, his output (both instrumental and vocal) was extremely varied and included some early essays in utterly new genres such as the quartet and quintet for strings. This volume assembles studies by all the major scholars who have hitherto devoted their attention to this composer, who has been viewed - both in the past and by modern musicologists - as a crucial link between different eras in the history of music.