Steve Leisring 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 performed in major halls in Europe including London, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Seville, Segovia, Zaragoza, Valencia, etc. He can be heard on more than 35 commercial CD’s on labels such as Deutche-Gramophone, Decca, and Auvidis-Valois. More recently, he can be heard on the 2013 NAXOS recording, "Landscapes," performing as soloist on Copland's "Quiet City" with the KU Wind Ensemble under the direction of Paul Popiel. While in Europe, he also performed with the Gothenburg Symphony, Grand Canaria Philharmonic, La Coruña Symphony, Madrid Chamber Orchestra, and was trumpet soloist on a two world premiere recordings by the late Spanish composer, Enrique Guimera.
Over the last decade, Professor Leisring has performed and taught on four continents, including as soloist in the 2014 Montreux (Switzerland) and Vienne (France) Jazz Festivals in Europe, Guest Principal with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in Japan as well as the ShenZhen, Tianjin, and Harbin Symphony Orchestras in China. In 2012, he performed as Guest Principal on the Fifth Symphony of D. Shostakovich in the National Center for Performing Arts in Beijing, China. In the US, Leisring has performed with the Dallas, Milwaukee, San Diego Symphonies, and is a regular performer with the Kansas City Symphony, Ballet and Opera Orchestras. He is Principal Trumpet with the Kansas Brass Quintet and has recently been named an Associate Member of the Rodney Mack Philadelphia Big Brass, and performed with this group as a guest of Delfeayo and Ellis Marsalis at the Tanglewood Music Center in 2014. Other festival performances include Music In The Mountains in Durango CO, Schleswig Holstein in Germany, Music Academy of the West and the Waterloo Festival.
Throughout his career as a professional trumpeter, Professor Leisring has performed with more than 100 world-class soloists and conductors from many genres, including vocalists Placido Domingo, Joan Sutherland, Barbara Hendricks, Frederica Von Stade, Arlene Auger and Alfredo Kraus; 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 Zimmerman, Emanuel Ax, Leon Fleischer; and conductors Neemi Jarvi, Raymond Leppard, Jesus Lopez Cobos, Michael Stern, Gerard Schwarz, Osmo Vanska, Clas Peter Flor, and Maxim Shostakovich to name a few. Outside of the Classical realm, he has worked onstage with the likes of Bill Conti, Phil Woods, Delfeayo and Ellis Marsalis, Diana Krall, Indigo Girls, Art Garfunkel, Kenny G, Patti Lupone, Englebert Humperdinct and Bobby Watson.
Professor Leisring is in demand as teacher and clinician both in the US and abroad. His former students have been appointed to positions major orchestras, universities, and military bands, have been finalists in national competitions, and performed with groups such as the New York Philharmonic, Kansas City Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Tokyo Symphony, European Youth orchestra, Chicago Civic orchestra and National Orchestra of Spain. Others have gone on to success in the fields of teaching, medicine, law, and business. In 2013, the KU Trumpet Ensemble was the official Kansas representative to perform in the Inauguration Parade of President Barack Obama. Previously, KU Trumpet Ensembles under his direction have toured China and performed at the International Trumpet Guild Conference in Australia. He has also been on the faculty of the Conservatorio Superior de Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Academy or Orchestral Studies of the OST, and Arona Conservatory in Spain.
Professor Leisring has given master classes at major U.S. universities such as the University of North Texas, Hart College of Music, Universities of Oregon and Illinois, and has travelled to China a dozen times at the invitation of the following conservatories: Central Conservatory in Beijing; Shenyang, Sichuan, XiAn, and Tianjin. He has been a featured guest at three national trumpet conferences sponsored by the China Trumpet Guild, and also been a guest clinician at conservatories in Spain, Finland, and Latvia.
Professor Leisring's former teachers include a wide range of trumpet pedagogues in the US, and include Vincent Penzarella, Richard Giangiulio, Bert Truax, Don Jacoby, Leonard Candelaria, and Keith Johnson. As a student he also performed for and worked with Adolf Herseth, Phil Smith, Vincent Cichowicz, William Vacchiano, Armando Ghitalla, Bernard Adelstein, John Ware, and Mario Guarneri among others.
While in Spain, Professor 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.