Thomas Leleu

At only 35 years of age, Thomas Leleu is considered as “one of the best tuba players of the world” (Radio France). The first tuba player to have ever won the “Révélation Soliste Instrumental” award at the French Victoires de la Musique Classique, he is one of the few tuba players in the world to lead a solo career, and an iconoclastic artist who stands where genres mix – a classical soloist passionate about world, modern and pop music.

Thomas Leleu joined the Conservatoire de Paris at age 17 and obtained the first prize for tuba and a degree with distinctions. He also studied at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold, Germany with Hans Nickel. He has been Principal Tuba of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille since the age of 19, and has won awards in competitions around the world. In 2019, he was nominated in three categories at the Opus Klassik and VIA Awards in Germany.

Thomas Leleu is regularly invited to perform at prestigious venues around the world such as Konzerthaus Berlin, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Brucknerhaus Linz, Arsenal de Metz, Maison de Radio France, Arena Loire, Singapore Esplanade and Hong Kong City Hall. He has appeared in festivals including Pâques d’Aix en Provence, Radio France Occitanie Montpellier, Un Violon sur le Sable, Jazz à Vienne, Marseille Jazz des Cinq Continents, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Kissinger Sommer, Brandenburgische SommerKonzerte, Leverkusener JazzTage, MITO SettembreMusica, Gramado in Concert and Prishtina International Festival.

Orchestras with which Thomas Leleu has collaborated as a soloist include Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Orchestre National d’Île-de-France, Kölner Kammerorchester, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Junge Sinfonie Berlin, Orquesta Sinfónica de Lara, Orquesta Sinfónica Provincial de Santa Fe, Orquestra Sinfônica de Santo André, Kosovo Philharmonic etc. Composers who have dedicated their works to him include Richard Galliano, Vladimir Cosma, Airelle Besson, Claude Bolling, Jean-Philippe Vanbeselaere, Marc Steckar, André Waignein, Dominique Probst and more.

Thomas Leleu has released several albums: In the Mood for Tuba (Fondamenta/Sony Music), Impressions for Tuba with the Royal Band of the Belgian Air Force, Stories… (ARS Produktion), as well as Born to Groove (NoMadMusic/Pias) where he presents his own compositions around jazz and popular music.

Thomas Leleu regularly gives masterclasses at leading institutions of the world such as the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, Indiana University Bloomington, Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin, Universität der Künste Berlin, Conservatoire de Paris, New England Conservatory, Carnegie Mellon University, Hochschule für Musik Stuttgart, Hochschule für Musik Würzburg, El Sistema in Venezuela, Tokyo College of Music, Osaka College of Music, Korea National University of Arts, Beijing Central Conservatory of Music and more. He has founded several unique and groundbreaking ensembles: the Thomas Leleu Sextet (tuba and string quintet), tubaVScello (tuba and cello) and TL Trio (tuba, piano and vibraphone). In exploration of jazz and pop music, he created the show The Tuba’s Trip in 2017, staged by Claude Tissier, and Born to Groove in 2021, which he performs at many jazz festivals.

Since 2011, Thomas Leleu has been a Melton Meinl Weston Artist and a Buffet Crampon Ambassador. He has developed with the firm the 2250 TL “French Touch” tuba which he is currently playing.

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