Born on 11 February 1946, Rudolf Buchbinder celebrated his 60th birthday just two weeks after Mozart’s 250th birthday – a happy coincidence of landmark events that prompted the great Austrian pianist to present a series of Mozart piano concertos with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at the 2006 Vienna Festival. The works, recorded live at the Musikverein in Vienna on 7 May 2006, represent the crème de la crème of Mozart‘s concerto output of the years 1784 to 1786. Mozart had arrived in Vienna in March 1781 to work as an independent composer. In addition to seeking commissions from the Imperial Court, he also held subscription concerts at various venues, including the homes of the nobility. Mozart had to satisfy the needs of the fashionable Viennese public by creating a steady flow of virtuoso arias, symphonies, chamber music and piano concertos. Between 1784 and 1786 he wrote no fewer than 12 piano concertos, many of them unsurpassed in the history of this genre. In 1785 he wrote the “big“ E flat Concerto K. 482, the first to include clarinets, a natural development in a genre that was increasingly taking on symphonic traits. While the A major Concerto K. 488 glows with an inner serenity, the C minor work that follows it, K. 491, is a grand, almost heroic, work with wild outbursts of raw passion. It is also the most heavily scored of Mozart‘s concertos. Its successor, the C major Concerto K. 503, is the most technically difficult of all of the concertos, and can perhaps be seen as the culmination of his output in this genre. Although Rudolf Buchbinder commands a mighty repertoire, he is best known for his interpretations of the works of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven and Brahms.