“He is a fearless, flawless player.. It would be a treat to hear him in just about any music.” (The Herald, Scotland)
François Leleux’s preeminence as an oboist is internationally recognised and he is regularly invited by the world’s leading orchestras, festivals and concert series in repertoire ranging from baroque to newly commissioned works, both as soloist and as player/director.
In recent seasons Leleux has in parallel developed a significant reputation as conductor and is now regularly in demand on the podium both with and without oboe in hand. During 2014/15 Leleux was Guest Artistic Director of the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra and from 2012-14 he was Artist in Association with the Orchestre de chambre de Paris. He has also been invited as guest conductor by Budapest Festival Orchestra and WDR Symphony Orchestra.
A dedicated chamber musician, Leleux regularly performs with sextet Les Vents Français; and his recital partners include harpist Isabelle Moretti, violinist Lisa Batiashvili and pianists Emmanuel Strosser and Eric Le Sage.
The 2015/16 season reflects every aspect of Leleux’s performing life – including concerto performances with the BBC Scottish and NHK symphony orchestras, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchestre 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.
Elsewhere in Europe Leleux has appeared at Berlin’s Philharmonie, Wiener Musikverein, Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris and Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. Further afield he has debuted with the New York Philharmonic and at the Mostly Mozart Festival, New York, as well as with the Sydney and NHK symphony orchestras. In recent years he has performed with such eminent conductors as Pierre Boulez, Mariss Jansons, Sir Colin Davis, Myung-Whun Chung, Thomas Dausgaard, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Thomas Hengelbrock, Ivan Fischer and Alan Gilbert.
Committed to expanding the oboe’s repertoire, Leleux has had many new works commissioned for him by composers such as Nicolas Bacri, Thierry Pécou, Gilles Silvestrini, Éric Tanguy, Giya Kancheli and Michael Jarrell. During 2014/15 he – together with his wife 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. Latest release is a disc of works by Hummel and Haydn, recorded with Münchener Kammerorchester.
François Leleux is a Professor at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München.
Unusually creative programming and ever greater sonic homogeneity: more than 60 years after it was founded, in the immediate post-war period, the Münchener Kammerorchester (MKO) is a shining beacon in German orchestral life. Under its Artistic Director, Alexander Liebreich, the ensemble has increased its subscription numbers by 50 per cent in recent years, notwithstanding its consistently challenging programmes. With a distinctive theme for each season (Light, Politics, the Alps, Architecture, Eastwards, Drama or Childhood) the MKO’s programmes – inspired, exciting and often surprising – juxtapose works from the past with music from our own time.
Since 1995, when Christoph Poppen became Artistic Director and established its unmistakably dynamic profile, the ensemble has presented over seventy world premieres. Composers such as Iannis Xenakis, Wolfgang Rihm, Tan Dun, Chaya Czernowin and Jörg Widmann have written works for the ensemble, and since 2006 alone the MKO has commissioned pieces from Erkki-Sven Tüür, Thomas Larcher, Bernhard Lang, Nikolaus Brass, Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Klaus Lang, Mark Andre, Peter Ruzicka, Márton Illés, Miroslav Srnka and Tigran Mansurian. In cooperation with the RIAS Kammerchor and financed by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation the MKO has commissioned three outstanding composers of our time – Salvatore Sciarrino, Pascal Dusapin and Georg Friedrich Haas – writing new works for choir and orchestra. During the premieres in several European Cities in the years 2014 until 2016 the commissioned works will be faced with other important repertoire works.
Alexander Liebreich, who succeeded Poppen in 2006/07, believes in the experiential power and communicative intensity of contemporary music. And the tendency to think in conflicting aesthetic categories that particularly in Germany has dominated the response to musical innovation for decades now is in any case alien to Liebreich. His goal is a deeper engagement with unfamiliar sounds, particularly through repeat and follow-up performances.
Besides its Thursday evening performances in the Prinzregententheater, the orchestra’s main venue, in recent years the MKO has also introduced a number of more unusual concert formats. For the last eleven years a large, extremely well-informed audience has supported the “Night Musics” in the Rotunda of the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, where each concert is exclusively devoted to works by a single composer from the twentieth or twenty-first century.
Alexander Liebreich has moulded the twenty-six string players (the permanent core of the MKO) into an ensemble capable of immense stylistic variety. The musicians switch with great agility from historically informed performances of Baroque and Classical works to the very particular technical demands of contemporary music. Able to draw on a permanent pool of outstanding wind and brass soloists from Europe’s finest orchestras, the MKO, in the form of a “slim” symphony orchestra, can take advantage of its special sound when it comes to setting new standards in the interpretation of some of Beethoven, Schubert and Schumann’s most important works. Renowned guest conductors and a phalanx of outstanding international soloists regularly provide new artistic impulses. In addition to this, a well-established feature of the subscription series and of the orchestra’s guest performances are the concerts conducted by one or other of the MKO’s two concert masters. And it is on these evenings that the sense of responsibility and the unconditional commitment of each individual musician are especially apparent.
Founded by Christoph Stepp in 1950, the Münchener Kammerorchester was subsequently guided and conducted by Hans Stadlmair for almost four decades, starting in 1956. The MKO receives funding from the City of Munich, the Bavarian state and the district of Upper Bavaria. European Computer Telecoms AG (ECT) has been the MKO’s official main sponsor since the season 2006/07.
The MKO is a modern, flexible ensemble that is not only committed to an extensive musical repertoire, for it has also developed other very different activities outside its subscription series. The orchestra presents a further sixty concerts all over the world. In the last seasons the orchestra toured to Asia, Spain, Scandinavia and South America and did several projects in cooperation with the Goethe-Institut, e.g. a sensational academy in Pyongyang in autumn 2012 where the MKO got the possibility to work with North Korean music students.
Their recordings with Sony Classical include a CD with Rossini Ouvertures, Gabriel Faurés Requiem with the Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks (ECHO Classical-Award 2012), Mozart`s Requiem, Mendelssohn`s A Midsummer Night´s Dream and the symphony no. 4, an album with works of Anton and Paul Wranitzky. For their recording „Prince Esterházy Concertos“ with Francois Leleux and Emmanuel Pahud they received an Echo Klassik award 2016.
The Münchener Kammerorchester regularly participates in the Munich Biennale andcollaborates with the Bayerische Theaterakademie, the Villa Stuck, the Haus der Kunst, the Ludwigs-Maximilian-Universität and the Technische Universität München. An important aspect of the activities that Alexander Liebreich has initiated with the Munich Chamber Orchestra is the orchestra’s integrative work under the auspices of its “Munich Project”. Concerts and workshops, a mentoring scheme and other initiatives have been set up with the aim of activating links between the orchestra and its hometown of Munich and of developing collaborative schemes with institutions serving the needs of young people and society at large. The desire to shoulder social responsibility also underpins the MKO’s Aids Concert that has become a permanent fixture in Munich’s concert calendar since the first concert in 2007.
Source: Sony Classical