Jean-Louis Leroux


The Tempest | San Francisco Ballet Orchestra

The Tempest

Jean-Louis LeRoux was born in 1927 into a family in which music was a priority. From an early age he and his two brothers left school in the late afternoon and walked an hour across the Brittany town of Rennes to their studies at the local conservatory.

LeRoux focused on music theory (solfege) until 1940 when the first German bombs to rain down on
Rennes damaged the family apartment and the piano. After another bombing in 1943 the family took their remaining possessions to an uninhabited farmhouse in the countryside where they lived for a time. During the war years, the family endured hardships as the boys’ lycée was moved to a village and they went from farm to farm in search of food, but the children were able to continue their music studies intermittently, and after the war Jean-Louis was admitted to the Paris Conservatory. The lack of a keyboard meant that he had had to concentrate on the oboe, which led eventually to his settling in San Francisco and taking the position of principal oboe with the San Francisco Symphony for two decades.… University of California Berkeley Regional Oral History Office

Jean-Louis Leroux Reviews:

“…under the direction of Jean-Louis LeRoux, this particular rendition of Chihara’s work is expertly played without feeling stiff or stilted (something that would have become apparent during the work’s more swinging sections). Chihara, who was the San Francisco Ballet’s Composer in Residence at the time of the ballet’s debut, has truly created a musical score that deserves to be in the same artistic league as Shakespeare’s The Tempest.” —John Vallier, AllMusic