OBOIST OF THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER: FRANÇOIS LELEUX
François Leleux, renowned for bringing “bigger-than life personality” to his performances (Chicago Classical Review), regularly appears as a soloist, conductor and player/director with the world’s leading orchestras, festivals, and concert series. His pre-eminence as an oboist is internationally recognized, but in recent seasons Leleux has additionally established a significant reputation as a conductor, working with orchestras such as the hr-Sinfonieorchester, Camerata Salzburg, Tonkünstler Orchestra, Swedish Radio, and WDR symphony orchestras.
In the 2018/19 season, François Leleux will appear as conductor and soloist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, hr-Sinfonieorchester, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Tonkünstler Orchestra, and on tour with the Camerata Salzburg and violinist Lisa Batiashvili. His concerto performances include a return to the Münchener Kammerorchester, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, and the Berner Symphonie-Orchester for the Swiss premiere of Michael Jarrell’s oboe concerto Aquateinte. He concludes his season in residency with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Tenerife in Spain.
Last season, Leleux appeared as conductor and soloist with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, where he was praised for his “immaculate technique with a dazzlingly vivid identification with his music” (The Scotsman). He also toured with the Hungarian National Philharmonic, and returned to the Aalborg Symphony Orchestra as conductor. Mr. Leleux’s concerto performances included a debut with Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and a return to the Hong Kong Philharmonic. As the Artist-in-Residence with Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg he appeared as conductor, soloist, and chamber musician.
Leleux has previously been Artist-in-Residence with the hr-Sinfonieorchester (2016/17), Guest Artistic Leader of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra (2014/15), and Artist in Association with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris (2012-14). A dedicated chamber musician, he regularly performs worldwide with the sextet Les Vents Français, and with recital partners Lisa Batiashvili, Isabelle Moretti, Eric Le Sage, and Emmanuel Strosser.
Committed to expanding the oboe’s extensive repertoire, Leleux has had many new works commissioned for him by composers such as Nicolas Bacri, Michael Jarrell, Giya Kancheli, Thierry Pécou, Gilles Silvestrini, and Éric Tanguy. In 2016, he premiered Jarrell’s oboe concerto Aquateinte receiving critical acclaim by the Frankfurter Rundschau calling his performance “a highly virtuoso, bustling, small-scale continuous movement in the solo instrument, which the orchestra’s current “Artist in Residence”, François Leleux, mastered in a captivating manner.” The concerto was co-commissioned by the Hessischer Rundfunk, Printemps des Arts de Monte-Carlo, the Utah Symphony, and the Berner Symphonieorchester. During the 2014/15 season he – together with his wife Lisa Batiashvili – gave world premiere performances of Thierry Escaich’s Double Concerto for Violin and Oboe with the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and the New York Philharmonic.
Elsewhere in Europe, Leleux has appeared at Berlin’s Philharmonie, the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris, and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. He has also appeared at the Mostly Mozart Festival and with the New York Philharmonic and NHK Symphony Orchestra. In recent years, he has performed with distinguished conductors such as Lionel Bringuier, Myung-Whun Chung, Thomas Dausgaard, Ivan Fischer, Alan Gilbert, Thomas Hengelbrock, Mariss Jansons, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Leleux has released several CDs on Sony Classical, the latest of which – a disc of works by Hummel and Haydn recorded with Münchener Kammerorchester – was awarded an Echo Klassik Prize in 2016. Other recordings include works by J.S. Bach with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Mozart with Camerata Salzburg, and Strauss’ Oboe Concerto with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding.
François LeLeux is a Professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München.