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Thomas Leleu

Principal Tuba with the Marseille Philharmonic Opera

Thomas Leleu is the first tuba player to have ever won the award “Revelation Instrumental Soloist of the Year” at the annual French Grammy awards, the Victoires de la musique classique.

At only 32 years of age, Thomas Leleu is considered as the “world star of the tuba” (Europe 1, TMC – french national TV). This iconoclastic artist stands where genres mix: a classical soloist, passionate about world music, modern music and pop…

This absolute tuba genius (La Nouvelle République), acknowledged by his peers, already has an impressive career. In his hands the tuba reveals all its richness, fineness and complexity, a range that may seem endless, where it can finally find a new breath, a new youth.

He joined the Conservatoire de Paris (the CNSM) at age 17. After a three-year training course he obtained the first prize for tuba and a degree awarded with distinctions.

In 2006, he went on an international exchange at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold (Germany) with Hans Nickel.Thomas Leleu earned awards in several competitions throughout the world such as in Markneukirchen – Germany, Jeju – South Korea, and Luxembourg.

He has been principal tubist with the Marseille Philharmonic Opera since he turned 19. In 2012 he won the “Revelation Instrumental Soloist of the Year” at the annual French classical music award,the Victoires de la musique classique.

In 2017, he is « Stars of tomorrow » on Arte channel in Berlin invited by Rolando Villazon. In 2019, his album « Stories… » is nominated in 3 categories at the Opus Klassik in Germany
(German Grammy).

Thomas is also regularly invited to perform at festivals and in Concerts Hall around the world (more than 30 countries) with many orchestras such as: Konzerthaus Berlin, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (Germany), Brandenburgische SommerKonzerte (Germany), Mito Settembre Musica (Italy), International Festival Kissinger Sommer (Germany), Junge Sinfonie Berlin, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Hong Kong City Hall, Esplanade Concert Hall (Singapore), Radio France-Occitanie-Montpellier Festival, Orchestre de Chambre de Paris, Orchestre National d’Ile de France, Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille, Jeju Symphonic Orchestra (South Korea), Orquesta sinfonica de Larà (Venezuela), Sante Fe Symphonic Orchestra (Argentina), salle Gaveau (Paris), Palais des Congrès of Paris, New England Conservatory (USA), Gramado International Music Festival (Brazil), Maison de Radio France, Théâtre du Châtelet (Paris), Brucknerhaus of Linz (Austria)…

Thomas is frequently invited to take part in various national radio and national tv shows, on France 2, TMC (national french TV), Europe 1, ZDF/Arte, Bayerische Rundfunk, France Musique, Radio Nacional de Argentina…

Since 2015, he has released 3 albums : « In the mood for tuba »  (Fondamenta/ Sony Music) ; « Impressions for tuba » composed by André Waignein, with the Royal Orchestra of the Belgian Airforce ; « Stories… » in 2019 (ARS-Produktion) with the TL Trio (3 nominations at Opus Klassik).

Drawn to contemporary music, several composers have dedicated their pieces to him, such as Richard Galliano, Vladimir Cosma, Claude Bolling…

He regularly gives master classes in the most prestigious universities of the world: Juilliard School (New York), Hochschule für Musik Hanss Heisler Berlin, Universität der Kunste (Berlin), University of Indiana (Bloomington), Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris (CNSM), New England Conservatory (Boston), Tokyo Music College, Osaka Music College, Eastman School of Music (Rochester), Beijing Central Conservatory, Korea National University, El Sistema, and also in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo …

Thomas has founded several unique and unprecedented ensembles with a tuba : Thomas Leleu Sextet (tuba and string quintet), tubaVScello, TL Trio (tuba, piano, vibraphone). In 2017 he created the show The Tuba’s Trip (jazz and popular music) staged by Claude Tissier (ex Cirque du Soleil).

He is since 2011 a “Melton Meinl/Weston Artist – Ambassador Buffet Crampon“. He has developed with the firm the 2250 TL “ French Touch ” tuba which he is currently playing.

Photography : Camille Charlier


In The Mood For Tuba(2015)

Thomas Leleu presents to you his new album « In the mood for tuba », recorded with the Orquesta Sinfónica de Lara (Venezuela) and the Thomas Leleu Sextet. Thomas Leleu is the first French tubist to have ever recorded an album with a symphonic orchestra.

You will discover pieces by Richard Galliano, Camille Saint-Saëns, Stéphane Grappelli, Heitor Villa Lobos, Vittorio Monti…

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