Steve Leisring , Associate Professor of Trumpet, came to KU in 2003 after performing for 14 seasons with the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra, Canary Islands, Spain. As a member of the orchestra, he can be heard on more than 35 commercial CD’s on labels such as Deutche-Gramophone, Decca, and Auvidis-Valois. He has performed in major halls in Europe including London, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Segovia, Zaragoza, Valencia, etc. In 2012, he performed as Guest Principal on Shostakovich Fifth Symphony in the National Center for Performing Arts in Beijing, China. Festival performances include the Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg festivals in Germany; Music Academy of the West in CA. and Waterloo Festival in NJ; as well as those in Santander, Granada, San Sebastian, and the Canary Islands IN Spain. He has been heard on Radio and TV broadcasts of live concerts and recordings by the Tenerife Symphony throughout the world on networks such as NPR, BBC (London) , NDR(Germany), ABC(Australia), and RNE(Spain).
As a professional trumpeter, Prof. Leisring has performed with more than 100 world-class soloists and conductors, including vocalists Placido Domingo, Joan Sutherland, Barbara Hendricks, Frederica Von Stade, Arlene Auger; Alfredo Kraus and Brigitte Fassbaender; violinists Itzhak Perlman, Midori, Gil Shaham, Shlomo Mintz, Silvia Marcovici, Frank Peter Zimmerman; pianists Murray Perahia, Phillippe Entremont, Bela Davidovich, Alicia de Larrocha, Ivo Pogorelich, Krystian Zimerman, Emanuel Ax, Leon Fleischer; and conductors Neemi Yarvi, Raymond Leppard, Jesus Lopez Cobos, Yoel Levi, Gerard Schwarz, Dai Zhonghui, Osmo Vanska, Clas Peter Flor, and Maxim Shostakovich to name a few.
Outside of the classical music realm, Professor Leisring has performed with the likes of Jazz Legend Phil Woods, Gary Foster, Steve Houghton, and vocalists Michael Feinstein, Englebert Humperdinct, Patti Lupone, Art Garfunkel etc... He can be heard on the 2010 release, “What Did You Dream” CD with the Dan Gailey Jazz orchestra on the OA2 label. While in Spain, he was an active studio/session musician and he served as musical director/soloist of the "Swing Big Band of the Canary Islands," an 18-piece big-band.
Steve Leisring has been a featured Soloist and Principal Trumpet on two World-Premiere Recordings by Spanish composer, Enrique Guimera. He regularly performs as a substitute with the Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Opera, and Kansas City Ballet orchestras, including all of the 2011 Grand Opening events in the Kaufmann Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City. In the Spring of 2012, he was invited to China to perform as Guest Principal Trumpet with the ShenZhen Symphony, The Tianjin Symphony, and Harbin Symphony Orchestras over the course of a month while on sabbatical. Other orchestral performances include guest performances with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra (Sweden); Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Kansas City Symphony, Gran Canaria Philharmonic, Galicia Symphony Orchestra, and was a member of the Music in the Mountains Festival Orchestra Durango/Pagaso Springs, CO. 2001-2007.
Former students of Prof. Leisring have gone on to perform with the New York Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Puerto Rico Symphony as well as several professional orchestras in Spain; and have been selected for positions in the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, National Orchestra of Spain in Madrid, Dallas Brass, European Youth Orchestra, World Youth Orchestra, Pacific Music Festival, Spanish National Youth Orchestra and the Tanglewood Young Artists Orchestra\, Hot Springs Music Festival, as well as positions in Military Bands and University teaching. His students have been recognized as Finalists in International Trumpet Guild Competitions and regularly are named Semi-Finalists in the National Trumpet Competition as well as consecutive appearances in the Finals of the Trumpet Ensemble Division in 2006,2007.
Steve has given master classes at the Beijing Central Conservatory, Tianjin Conservatory, Sichuan Conservatory, Xinghai Conservatory, ShenYang Conservatory, and Kunming Arts Academy in China; in Helsinki, Finland; the Puerto Rico Conservatory in San Juan; as well as the Hartt College of Music and the Universities of Illinois, Oregon, Connecticut, Texas/Arlington and North Texas in the U.S. He is on the Advisory Board of the National Trumpet Competition and was invited to adjudicate the First Asian-Pacific Trumpet Competition in Guangzhou, China in 2008.
Since coming to KU, he has been invited to China 9 times, performing as featured guest at the First International Trumpet Conference at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing in 2006, 3rd International Trumpet Week in GuangZhou in 2008, and 5th International Trumpet Week in ShenYang in 2011. He also led a successful 5 city tour of China with the KU Trumpet Ensemble in 2008 and performances at the Sydney, Australia ITG Conference in 2010. In 2006 and 2008, he was invited to be a featured artist at the International Trumpet Days in Riga, Latvia.
As a soloist and recitalist, Professor Leisring has performed in Europe, Asia, Central America and the US, and serves as Principal Trumpet of the Kansas Brass Quintet, Ensemble in Residence at the University of Kansas. The January 2012 International Trumpet Guild journal reviewing a recital by Prof. Leisring used the following words in describing his performance: “…displaying excellent technique and precision…” “ tonal beauty and impeccable phrasing” and described a master class by saying, “…impressed by the variety of tools Leisring employed to help students understand various concepts of trumpet playing. It was both entertaining and (more importantly) informative to see him use simple demonstrations to communicate important concepts of brass playing to the students.”
While in Spain, Steve Leisring played and coached in Spain's premier National Baseball League, and has a keen interest in the connection between peak performance in music and in sports. He has written pedagogical articles published by the International Trumpet Guild Journal and the International Musician Magazine.
Professor Leisring is a fluent Spanish speaker and holds degrees in Performance and Education from the University of North Texas and the Mannes College of Music in New York. Former teachers include Vincent Penzarella of the NY Philharmonic, Rick Giangiulio and Bert Truax, formerly of the Dallas Symphony; Don Jacoby, as well as Keith Johnson and Leonard Candelaria at the University of North Texas.