The New York Times
“With these performances of the Glass concerto, featuring the splendid pianists Katia and Marielle Labèque as soloists, Mr. van Zweden has filled a gaping hole in the Philharmonic’s history… The piano parts, though not showy, are detailed and difficult. The Labèque sisters played a scintillating and elegant performance, and Mr. van Zweden nicely conveyed the mix of sassiness and delicacy in the music.”
“The most celebrated of piano duos.”
The Los Angeles Times
“What keeps growing with them…is their capacity to play off each other competitively, like Indian or jazz musicians, while appearing to be a single four-handed organism. Their sound is glittery. Their rhythmic accuracy is sensational. They were clearly having a very good time with music that is meant to express good times whether on the street or a seductive island”
Chicago Classical Review
“The Labèques gave a notably concentrated performance that conveyed the moody and evocative elements of the score as surely as the burst of Iberian brilliance in the concluding Feria.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Their performance was a knockout! Katia and Marielle Labèque, the mop-maned French sisters who have made a specialty of the repertoire for back-to-back pianos, combining familiar fare with a dazzling rarity, delivered it all with a welcome blend of theatricality and affection.”
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 Grazinyte-Tyla, Zubin Mehta, Juanjo Mena, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Matthias Pintscher, Georges Pretre, 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 and 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 and in June 2020 a new concerto written by Nico Muhly will receive its world premiere 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 than 100,000 attended the Vienna Summer Night Concert in Schonbrunn (now available on CD and DVD by SONY). More than 1.5 million viewers followed the event worldwide on television.
For their own label KML recordings, they have released a CD box Sisters (2014). Previous releases include a Gershwin-Bernstein album, and their project Minimalist Dream House (50 years of minimalist music). The DVD “The Labeque Way, a letter to Katia and Marielle by Alessandro Baricco” produced by El Deseo (Pedro and Augustin Almodovar) and filmed by Felix Cabez is released by EuroArts. Their biography, “Une vie a quatre mains” by Renaud Machart is published by Buchet-Chastel.
The Labèques’ 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, “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 and “Moondog”, a tribute to Louis Thomas Hardin, one of the true geniuses of his time. They just released a new album dedicated entirely to American composer Bryce Dessner, including his Concerto for two pianos with Orchestre de Paris conducted by Matthias Pintscher. The album also includes the work “El Chan” for two pianos, and “Haven” for two guitars and two pianos. The album is dedicated to the film director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritú, who created the album cover artwork.
Most recent performances include concerts with the New York Philharmonic, Camerata Salzburg, Elb Philharmonie Hamburg with Thom Yorke, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Semyon Bychkov, Dresden Staatskapelle at Easter Festival Salzburg, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony and Berlin Philharmonic, including return visits to the Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Hollywood Bowl and Cincinnati Symphony in September 2019.
At the invitation of the Philharmonie Hall in Paris in April 2019, attention was focused on “Amoria”, “Invocations” and their new project for two guitars and two pianos with David Chalmin and Bryce Dessner including a piece written for them by Thom Yorke “Don’t fear the Light” with Thom Yorke as special guest.