Oboe • Conductor
• Born 1971
Often appears with
Oboist François Leleux is among Europe's preeminent wind soloists and chamber players. Leleux is also a conductor, an important educator, and an orchestral player who has served as artist-in-residence with various ensembles.
Leleux was born in Croix, in far northern France, on July 30, 1971. He began taking oboe lessons at age seven in the Conservatory in nearby Roubaix and won entrance to the Paris Conservatory (the CNSM in Paris) at 14. Studying with Pierre Pierlot and Maurice Bourgue, he earned first prizes in both oboe and chamber music. Prizes at major competitions, most of them outside France, helped launch a successful career, as did stints at the National Orchestra of France (as a replacement musician) and the Youth Orchestra of the European Community, the latter conducted by Claudio Abbado. Leleux won an Orchestre National de l'Opéra Bastille de Paris recruitment competition when he was 18 and joined that ensemble four years later. Then he became a member of the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, playing under such conducting heavyweights as Lorin Maazel and Mariss Jansons. Leleux joined the European Chamber Orchestra in 2003 and has also played with the Paris-Bastille Ensemble and the ensemble Les Vents Français. Leleux is a professor at Germany's Musikhochschule München.
After making his recording debut with an album of music by Poulenc and Britten on the Harmonia Mundi label in 1995, Leleux was signed to Sony Classical and released Alles fühlt der Liebe Freuden, an album of Mozart wind works, in 2008. He released several more albums as an oboist on Sony. In the late 2010s, Leleux became active as a conductor, appearing with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra della Svizzera Italiana, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, among other groups. He has regularly conducted the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and led the group on an Asian tour. Leleux has served as artist-in-residence with the Aalborg Symfoniorkester, performing as both conductor and soloist. He made his recorded debut as a conductor in 2020, with an album of music by Gounod and Bizet with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, on the Linn label.