When HK Gruber’s Frankenstein!! was performed for the first time in 1978, the just 23-year-old Simon Rattle was standing at the conductor’s desk. In Gruber’s career, the acclaimed world premiere of his “Pandämonium”, which was performed with the composer himself at one of the Late Night concerts in January 2012, marked his international breakthrough. The friendship with Sir Simon has continued ever since, as we discover in this conversation between Gruber and the Philharmoniker’s cellist and orchestra board member Knut Weber. The enthusiastically received German premiere of Gruber’s piano concerto with the Berliner Philharmoniker, Sir Simon and the American pianist Emanuel Ax in March 2017 was the occasion for the conversation, in which the Austrian composer admits to beauty, accessibility and humour as important elements of his music.