While Lajos Lencses may not be widely known to the average classical concertgoer or record buyer, he is generally considered one of the most talented oboists in Europe. He has appeared on over 30 recordings and has actively promoted contemporary music for the oboe. Lencses is not only a virtuoso oboist but is equally talented on the oboe d'amore and English horn. While he has attained nearly the level of acclaim of iconic oboist Heinz Holliger, Lencses has chosen to balance his career as a soloist by remaining the first chair oboist in the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra. His repertory is amazingly broad, taking in works by J.S. Bach, Vivaldi, Cimarosa, Handel, Rosetti, Mozart, Dittersdorf, Bellini, Koechlin, Nielsen, Françaix, Martinu, and contemporary Hungarian composers Sandor Balassa, Frigyes Hidas, and Josef Soproni. Stylistically, he is known for his ingratiating tone, lyrical sensibilities, and brilliant technique. Lencses has recorded for a variety of labels, including Hänssler Classics, Hungaroton, MD&G, Capriccio, CPO, and Bayer. Some of his recordings are featured on theme-oriented CDs, like Romantic Classics and Romantic Oboe Concertos, offered by reissue labels like Brilliant Classics and Madacy Records.
Lajos Lencses was born in the small town of Dorog, Hungary. His first advanced studies were at the Budapest Academy of Music. Later on he studied at the Paris Conservatory of Music. Lencses gained his first important breakthrough when he captured first prize at the Geneva International Competition in 1968. He then launched his international career and was soon recognized as among the finest oboists in Europe.
He became a member of the Stuttgart Radio Orchestra and has served as the ensemble's principal oboist. By the 1980s Lencses was an active recording artist and in 1990 received the Diapason d'Or, the most prestigious French award given to a recording artist.
Throughout the 1990s and especially in the new century, Lencses remained busy in the recording studio, often focusing on the byways of the repertory (Franz Xaver Richter's F major Oboe Concerto, for example, on CPO from 1994) but also devoting attention to more mainstream offerings, like the 2003 Carus CD of the Mozart Concerto for Oboe in C major, K. 314. Among his later recordings is a 2007 Hänssler Classics release that is typical of his fearless nature to champion the unusual but worthy: the disc features oboe works by the little-known nineteenth century female composer Clémence de Grandval.