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. François has appeared at the Berlin Philharmonie with Deutsches 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, at Bunkamura with the NHK Symphony Orchestra and at the Lincoln Center as part of the Mostly Mozart Festival and at Concertgebouw with Netherlands Radio Chamber orchestra 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.
For the 2014/15 season, Francois was guest leader of Norwegian Chamber Orchestra, which involved curating and leading three concert projects as well as an appearance at the Risor Festival. He also returned to Lammermuir Festival as artist-in-residence, performing with Royal Northern Sinfonia, Hebrides Ensemble and soloists from Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He made return appearances as conductor-soloist with Munich Chamber Orchestra, Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra, Gavle Symfoniorkester and Camerata Salzburg, including a tour to China. Francois appeared for the first time this season with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under Nicholas Collon to perform the Strauss Concerto. In December 2014, François premiered Thierry Escaich’s concerto for violin and oboe with his wife, violinist Lisa Batiashvili and NDR Sinfonieorchester conducted by Alan Gilbert. He and Lisa then premiered the work in North America, with New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert in April 2015.
For seasons 2012-14, François was Artist in Association with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris. Last season Francois performed as soloist with the Gulbenkian Orchestra, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Budapest Festival Orchestra under Ivan Fischer, Seoul Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg (at the Mozartwoche in Salzburg), Tonkunstler Orchestra (for play-conduct concerts as well as at the Grafenegg Festival), as well as concerts at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées and the Mozartfest Würzburg Orchestre de chambre de Paris. He also performed with the Hebrides Ensemble at the Lammermuir and Styriate Festivals, with Lisa Batiashvili and Friends at the Salzburg Festival and the Prinsengracht Concert in Amsterdam and toured with the with all-star wind sextet Les Vents Français.
François 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. In 2012/2013, he gave 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, 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.” François has also made his own transcriptions of arias from Mozart’s Don Giovanni and Die Zauberflöte which he has recorded with Camerata Salzburg for Sony.
Alongside appearances as a soloist, François also devotes time to play-conduct engagements, working with Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Bamberger Symphoniker and Orchestre de chambre de Paris, Orchestre national de Lyon and Tonkunstler Orchestra among others.
François is a dedicated chamber musician, performing regularly all over the world with octet Ensemble Paris-Bastille and sextet Les Vents Français. Regular recital partners include harpist Isabelle Moretti, violinist Lisa Batiashvili and pianists Emmanuel Strosser and Eric Le Sage.
François has recorded several CDs for SONY Classical. Releases have included – J.S.Bach with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and Mozart with Camerata Salzburg, Strauss’s Oboe Concerto recorded with
Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding and Serenade for Winds performed with the ensemble Paris Bastille and The Charm of the Oboe – recorded with the Munich Chamber Orchestra, will featuring concerti by Cimarosa, Bellini, Marcello, Vivaldi, Glück and Pasculli. The next release on Sony will include works by Hummel and Haydn, recorded with Munich Chamber Orchestra.
François Leleux is a Professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München.