"The best piano duo in front of an audience today" - New York Times
"The Labèque sisters are tremendous. They are great performers, and great interpreters. And they are wonderful supporters of music- not only modern music, but just music. It is great to work with them" - Philip Glass
"Whether Mozart or Stravinsky, their musical line always sounds as if it's being woven for the very first time... But the illusion of improvisation is the genius of their performances. In all their recordings there is a deceptive sprezzatura that is born of throwing the preparation to the winds and hanging onto each others ears." - The Times
Katia and Marielle Labèque are sibling pianists renowned for their ensemble of synchronicity and energy. Their musical ambitions started at an early age and they rose to international fame with their contemporary rendition of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (one of the first gold records in classical music) and have since developed a stunning career with performances worldwide.
They are regular guests with the most prestigious orchestras such as the Berlin Philharmonic, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Filarmonia della Scala, Philadelphia Orchestra, Dresden Staatskapelle, Royal Concertgebouw Amsterdam and Vienna Philharmonic, under the direction of Marin Alsop, Alain Altinoglu, Semyon Bychkov, Sir Colin Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Gustavo Gimeno,Mirga Gra?inytė-Tyla , Zubin Mehta, Juanjo Mena ,Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Matthias Pintscher , Georges Prêtre ,Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, Michael Tilson Thomas and Jaap van Zweden.
They have appeared with Baroque music ensembles such as The English Baroque Soloists with Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Il Giardino Armonico with Giovanni Antonini, Musica Antica with Reinhard Goebel and Venice Baroque with Andrea Marcon, il Pomo d'Oro with Maxim Emelyanichev and also toured with The Age of Enlightenment & Sir Simon Rattle.They will be on stage once more with Giardino Armonico and Giovanni Antonini in 2019.
Katia and Marielle have had the privilege of working with many composers including Thomas Adès, Louis Andriessen, Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, Bryce Dessner, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, György Ligeti and Olivier Messiaen. at Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles they presented the world premiere of Philip Glass's new Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Gustavo Dudamel. Last spring also saw the world premiere of Bryce Dessner's concerto at Royal Festival Hall with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and John Storgards. A new concerto written by Nico Muhly ,will be ready in 2020 to be premiered at Lincoln Center with New York Philharmonic and Jaap van Zweden.
The Labèques play in festivals and renowned venues worldwide including the Vienna Musikverein, Hamburg Musikhalle, Munich Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall, Royal Festival Hall, La Scala, Berlin Philharmonie, Blossom, Hollywood Bowl, Lucerne, BBC Proms, Ravinia, Tanglewood and Salzburg. An audience of more than 33,000 attended a gala concert with the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Sir Simon Rattle at Berlin's Waldbühne, now available on DVD (EuroArts).A record audience of more then 100.000 attended the Vienna Summer Night Concert in Schönbrunn (now available on CD and DVD by Sony ). More than 1.5 million viewers followed the event worldwide on TV.
For their own label, KML recordings, they have released a CD Box « Sisters » . Previous releases include a Gershwin/Bernstein album, and their project Minimalist Dream House (50 years of Minimalist music).The DVD "The Labèque Way, a letter to Katia and Marielle by Alessandro Baricco" produced by El Deseo (Pedro and Augustin Almodóvar) and filmed by Félix Cábez is released by EuroArts . Their biography "Une vie à quatre mains" by Renaud Machart is published by Buchet-Chastel.
Labèque's label KML Recordings joined the historical label Deutsche Grammophon, their first collaboration being Stravinsky's " Rite of Spring" and Debussy's "Epigraphes Antiques" , followed by « Love Stories » with music by Leonard Bernstein and David Chalmin . They just released two new CD : « Amoria » a journey to their Basque roots covering five centuries of music interpreting repertoire which gathers works by Basque composers dating from the Renaissance to the present day. The album Amoria ("love" in Euskara) dives at the heart of Basque culture with composers who managed to blend popular folklore with academic music. The other CD, « Moondog » is a tribute to Louis Thomas Hardin, one of the true geniuses of his time.
This year included performances with New York Philharmonie with Jaap van Zweden, Vienna Konzerthaus with Camerata Salzburg , Elb Philharmonie Hamburg with Bryce Dessner'S new piece « El Chan » , a European tour with Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Semyon Bychkov , Easter Festival Salzburg with Dresden Staatskapelle, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles PhilharmoniC, San Francisco Symphony and Berlin Philharmonie.
At the invitation of the Philharmonie Hall in Paris in april 2019, attention will be focused on their new projects : Amoria, Invocations and the creation of a piece by Thom Yorke part of the new program in quartet of Minimalist Dream House with David Chalmin and Bryce Dessner.
Katia and Marielle Labeque on Their Love of Italian Design
The Labèque Sisters' new album is dedicated to American composer Bryce Dessner and Academy Award-winning film director Alejandro Gonzales Iñarittú, who created the cover art. Following in the footsteps of minimalist composers such as Glass, Adams, and Reich, Dessner composed the Concerto for Two Pianos for the sisters. Recorded in 2018 with Orchestre de Paris conducted by Matthias Pintscher, the album also includes Dessner's El Chan for two pianos, and Haven for two guitars and two pianos.
It's easy to forget that musicians have rich inner lives all to their own. Most of us are happy enough with what we get onstage and in the tone of the music, allowing that to inform our entire perception of an artist. But easy as it may be to forget their lives beyond the stage, it's similarly easy to forget that others are accomplished musicians outside of their primary group. Take for instance Bryce Dessner, if one were able to name him at all it would be as the guitarist of indie rock darlings The National, but one glimpse at his latest release El Chan shows you so much more.
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Crossover Media Projects with: Katia & Marielle Labeque