While its home base the Opera House was getting spruced up on the eve of its 50th birthday party, Sydney Symphony Orchestra was playing just up the road at Angel Place a captivating programme featuring one of Australia’s finest talents in pianist Daniel de Borah.

Daniel de Borah. Photo supplied

Built around the enduring influence of W.A. Mozart on both composers and listeners, the concert conducted by the SSO’s former Principal Cellist Umberto Clerici, featured three works, with the Piano Concerto No. 17 in G, K453, as its centrepiece. This was written in one of the composer’s “sweet spot” years, 1784, in which he produced six piano concertos, a wind quintet, landmark piano and violin sonatas and The Hunt String Quartet.

The other main work was Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 5, composed when the 19-year-old was just striking out for a career in Vienna as a student of Antonio Salieri and a fan of Mozart and Joseph Haydn, finding Beethoven’s ideas a “bizarre” mixture of comedy and tragedy at the time.

The concert got off to a bracing start...