François Leleux
Conductor / Oboe

“A star act. Here was phenomenal skill and personality, displayed across a vast range of colours and dynamics, delivered with winking wit through an oboe constantly circling the air.” (The Times)

Contacts

Lydia Connolly +44 (0)20 3725 9118
Liz Sam +44 (0)20 3725 9122

Biography

While François Leleux’s preeminence as an oboist has long been recognised internationally, over the last twenty years he has in parallel developed a significant reputation as conductor. He is regularly invited to the world’s foremost concert platforms, both with and without oboe in hand, in repertoire ranging from baroque to newly commissioned works.

While François Leleux’s preeminence as an oboist has long been recognised internationally, over the last twenty years he has in parallel developed a significant reputation as conductor. He is regularly invited to the world’s foremost concert platforms, both with and without oboe in hand, in repertoire ranging from baroque to newly commissioned works.

As a conductor Leleux has already been invited by orchestras such as Bamberger Symphoniker, Sydney Symphony, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic and Budapest Festival orchestras and WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln; and the 2015/16 season reflects every aspect of his performing life – including concerto performances with the BBC Scottish and NHK symphony orchestras, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. As conductor and soloist he returns to Camerata Salzburg, Norwegian Radio Orchestra and Orchestre de chambre de Paris. 

Further ahead, projects include a residency with hr-Sinfonieorchester, invitations from Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich and Bamberger Symphoniker, and tours with Les Vents Français to Salzburg, Istanbul, Zürich, Brussels and Paris.

Committed to expanding the oboe’s repertoire, Leleux has had many new works commissioned for him by composers such as Nicolas Bacri, Giya Kancheli and Michael Jarrell. During 2014/15 he, together with Lisa Batiashvili, gave world premiere performances with NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg and the New York Philharmonic, of Thierry Escaich’s Concerto for violin and oboe.  

Leleux has released several CDs on Sony Classical, including works by J.S.Bach with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Mozart with Camerata Salzburg, as well as Strauss’s Oboe Concerto with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra under Daniel Harding. His latest release is a disc of works by Hummel and Haydn, recorded with Münchener Kammerorchester.

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Contacts

Lydia Connolly +44 (0)20 3725 9118
Liz Sam +44 (0)20 3725 9122

Reviews

“…there were certainly wonders in François Leleux’ account with the CBSO of the autumnal, delicious Oboe Concerto by Richard Strauss. His phrasing was mellifluous, and as open-air as the composer’s beloved Bavarian Alps; interchanges with orchestral soloists were sparkling and well dovetailed;…flourishes danced as though from panpipes, and he painted piquant shades of colour.” (Birmingham Post, November 2014)

“The terrific French oboist Francois Leleux was artist in residence at this year’s Lammermuir Festival, and he used the opportunity to explore repertoire from Bach to Berio. He is a fearless, flawless player (during this recital he breezily turned pages with one hand while playing with the other). His sound is plush and enormous. It would be a treat to hear him in just about any music.” (The Herald, Scotland, October 2014)

“…there were certainly wonders in François Leleux’ account with the CBSO of the autumnal, delicious Oboe Concerto by Richard Strauss. His phrasing was mellifluous, and as open-air as the composer’s beloved Bavarian Alps; interchanges with orchestral soloists were sparkling and well dovetailed;…flourishes danced as though from panpipes, and he painted piquant shades of colour.” (Birmingham Post, November 2014)

“The terrific French oboist Francois Leleux was artist in residence at this year’s Lammermuir Festival, and he used the opportunity to explore repertoire from Bach to Berio. He is a fearless, flawless player (during this recital he breezily turned pages with one hand while playing with the other). His sound is plush and enormous. It would be a treat to hear him in just about any music.” (The Herald, Scotland, October 2014)

“François Leleux ... is quite a magical performer. His sonority is totally enchanting, his virtuosity limitless and flows so naturally from its source that one is no longer aware of all the hard work that preceded it. Whether it is in the flowery virtuoso pranks of Pasculli or the elegance, lyricism and joie de vivre of Mozart's concerto, Leleux's commitment is irresistible. Standing at the side of the conductor, he spices his playing with an appropriate dose of showiness and wit, knowing exactly how far to go. Yet as his rendition of the Mozart C major concerto proved, he is also a sensitive artist, a subtle colorist, dialoguing and blending his instrument with the orchestral textures to ravishing effect – with Fischer and the Budapest strings offering the most sympathetic accompaniment. The tender melancholy of Mozart's Andante ma non troppo was as compellingly rendered as the three dazzling cadenzas. An enraptured audience was rewarded by Leleux with an Air from Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice.” (Classical Net, March 2013)

“Leleux's sound is simply gorgeous, his high register breathtaking, and he reeled off MacMillan's torrents of notes in vivid shapes...” (The Guardian, February 2013)

“Leleux's performance was mesmerising, colouring the slow movement with a cool hint of reflective introspection, only to be thrown instantly aside by the clownish thrills and spills of the finale. His exquisite Gluck encore sealed the deal...” (The Scotsman, February 2013)

“There was much power in his tone and so much energy and drive in Leleux’s dancing movements, he probably could have conducted the orchestra and performed as a soloist at the same time. Each note had clarity and brilliance, and trills jumped like shining pearls from the instrument. Leleux was singing the musical phrases with the oboe in all corners of the hall. He was in front of the beat and drove the orchestra with him in the faster outer movements. The solo cadenzas stood as lyrical fantasies, where Leleux made time stand still and painted melodies with both delicate and sharp colours.” (KPN.DK, February 2011) 

“The elegance and vivacity of Francois Leleux’ oboe playing and the fresh, bright sound of Camerata Salzburg dazzle through Mozart’s Rondo in C, Oboe concerto and the transcription for the Flute Concerto.” (The Independent, December 2008)

“…[François Leleux is] a star act. Here was phenomenal skill and personality, displayed across a vast range of colours and dynamics, delivered with winking wit through an oboe constantly circling the air.” (The Times) 

“This adroit teaming of first-rate chamber musicians, led by husband and wife Francois Leleux and Lisa Batiashvili, makes for an exceptional disc which brims with treats, such as an elegant Mozart oboe quartet K370 and a beautifully realised, dark and creamy adagio K580a.” (The Observer, May 2007)