Although Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart?s first instrument was the piano, even as a child he revealed himself to be a highly gifted violinist. In this domain too he was encouraged by his father Leopold, well-known violin teacher in his own right and author of a violin method widely respected at the time. Even when Wolfgang was already 21, father Leopold reaffirmed his son?s violinistic talent, on 8 October 1777. ?You don?t realize how good you are on the violin when you put your mind to it, playing with character, conviction and spirit, just as if you were the best violinist in Europe.? That letter was written in the period between 1773 and 1779, when Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed numerous works requiring string soloists. From April to December of 1775 alone, the 19-year-old penned 5 violin concertos, in an unbroken process as it were. At that time Mozart was employed as concertmaster by the archbishop?s court in Salzburg, where instrumental music was highly prized. He had, however, previously got to know the Italian tradition and art of the violin in situ, frequenting students of the famous Giuseppe Tartini there, such as Pietro Nardini and Gaetano Pugnani. On several occasions during his three journeys to Italy, he also met the Bohemian composer Josef Myslivecek, who cultivated the violin concerto genre intensively. Synthesizing the influence of Italian masters with that of Joseph Haydn, Johann Christian Bach and French violinists, Mozart composed his own concertos, which sparkle with vitality but are at the same time both intimate and graceful.