Mozart was nineteen years old when he composed in quick succession his five violin concertos (1775) while holding a position as Kapellmeister at the court of the prince-archbishop of Salzburg. These five works remained Mozart's only concertos written for the violin. Although the composer preferred the piano as a solo instrument, the violin concertos reached a new peak in the progression of the genre after Johann Sebastian Bach's violin concertos. Mozart summarised in these works everything he had learned from recent musical development in Germany, France and Italy. In the course of his last Italian trip (autumn 1772 to March 1773), he had the opportunity of meeting great violin virtuosos emanating from Giuseppe Tartini's school. Mozart's concertos also speak volumes about the composer's own instrumental virtuosity. This was confirmed by his father, a famous teacher of great severity: "You yourself do not know how well you play the violin, if you will only do yourself credit and play with energy, with your whole heart and mind, yes, just as if you were the first violinist in Europe."
While the Concerto No. 2 KV 211 is still somewhat conventional, with the orchestra reduced to the role of a mere accompaniment, the violin and the orchestra engage in a much closer dialogue in the Concertos No. 3 KV 216 and No. 5 KV 219. The slow movements show great expressive depth, while the last movements show originality and have a few surprises in store for the listener.
Alongside these concertos, the orchestra will perform Mozart's Symphony No. 1 KV 16, the work of an eight-year-old. In 1764, the young musician was travelling with his family through Europe. He wrote this symphony in London, where he also encountered Johann Christian Bach. The influence of Bach's "London" son is clearly perceptible in Mozart's youth symphonies. This charming "first-born" fulfils a childish desire to make the violins dance and shows off the musician's pride at having composed his very first "Sinfonia". The piece was most probably premiered on February 21, 1765, at a concert that took place in London's Haymarket Theatre.