The French French oboist, conductor, and music pedagogue, François Leleux, began his professional career at 18 when he was appointed Principal Oboe at Opéra de Paris. Three years later he won the solo position in Bayerischer Rundfunk Symphonieorchester, a position he held until 2004. His musical activities are now split between solo appearances, playing/directing, chamber music, recitals and concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, of which he was appointed Principal Oboe in 2003.
Recognised throughout the world as the best oboist of his generation, François Leleux enjoys an international career appearing with major orchestras and at important venues and festivals performing repertoire from the Baroque to newly commissioned works. He has appeared at the Berlin Philharmonie with Deutsche Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, the Vienna Musikverein with Tonkünstler-Orchester, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées with Orchestre National de France, at the Sydney Opera House with Sydney Symphony Orchestra, at Bunkamura with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and at the Lincoln Center as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival. He has worked with leading conductors such as Pierre Boulez, Mariss Jansons, Sir Colin Davis, Myung-Whun Chung, Daniel Harding, Thomas Dausgaard, Wolfgang Sawallisch and Alan Gilbert.
From season 2012-2013 season, Francois Leleux will be Artist in Association with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris which, among other projects, will see him perform the premiere of Thierry Escaich’s Concertino for Violin and Oboe. During the coming season (2013-2014) he will appear as soloist with WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Budapest Festival Orchestra (with Iván Fischer), Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra national de Lyon, Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo and Malmo Symphony Orchestra. In addition to these engagements, and following on from previous success, he has repeat invitations with, Orchestre de chambre de Paris, Tonkünstler-Orchester, Camerata Salzburg, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Gavle Symfoniorkester (Play-Direct). Alongside appearances as a soloist, Francois Leleux also devotes time to play-conduct engagements, most recently working with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker and Orchestre de chambre de Paris.
Francois Leleux has a commitment to expanding the oboe’s repertoire, and has had many new works commissioned for him by composers such as Nicolas Bacri, Thierry Pécou, Gilles Silvestrini, Eric Tanguy, Thierry Escaich, Giya Kancheli and Michael Jarrell. This season (2012-2013) he will give the Scottish and French premieres of MacMillan’s Oboe Concerto with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Orchestre de chambre de Paris respectively. In 2010 he premiered a new concerto titled The Enchanter written by Albert Schnelzer and jointly commissioned by the Swedish Chamber Orchestra and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. The work received warm praise in the press with one critic writing, “His concerto held me gripped…The “Enchanter” of the title is Leleux himself, and it’s a fitting tribute to his spellbinding playing. He turned the oboe into a multi-dimensional character, singing, dancing and leaping through his music.” Leleux has also made his own transcriptions of arias from W.A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte which he has recorded with Camerata Salzburg for Sony.
Francois Leleux is a dedicated chamber musician, performing regularly all over the world with octet Ensemble Paris-Bastille and sextet Les Vents Français. In 2012-2013 he performed with the group as part of a residency at the Musikfest Bremen. Regular recital partners include harpist Isabell Moretti and his wife, violinist Lisa Batiashvili.
François Leleux has an exclusive recording contract with Sony Classical. So far, as part of this contract he has released three CD’s - chamber music with Lisa Batiashvili, violist Lawrence Power and cellist Sebastian Klinger: J.S.Bach with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and W.A. Mozart with Camerata Salzburg. His last release for Sony Classical featured Strauss’s Oboe Concerto recorded with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding and Serenade for Winds performed with the ensemble Paris Bastille. His latest release (spring 2012), “The Charm of the Oboe” - recorded with the Münchener Kammerorchester, will feature concerti by Cimarosa, Bellini, Benedetto Marcello, Antonio Vivaldi, Glück and Pasculli. The the recording united some of the most eminent chamber musicians in the field: Emmanuel Pahud, Paul Meyer, Gilbert Audin and Radovan Vlatkovic
François Leleux is a Professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München.