Recently announced to have joined the prestigious recording label Deutsche Grammophon, Katia and Marielle Labèque are sibling pianists renowned for their ensemble of synchronicity and energy. Daughters of Ada Cecchi (who was, herself, a pupil of Marguerite Long), Katia and Marielle had a childhood filled with music. 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 and Vienna Philharmonic, under the direction of Semyon Bychkov, Lionel Bringuier, Sir Colin Davis, Gustavo Dudamel, Charles Dutoit, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Kristjan Jarvi, Pavo Jarvi, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Georges Prêtre, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin , Michael Tilson Thomas, and Jaap van Zweden.
In the U.S. this season they can be seen as guests with the orchestras of Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Cincinnati.
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. As well, they recently toured with Age of Enlightenment and Sir Simon Rattle.
Their commitment to contemporary music has led to their working with many composers including Louis Andriessen, Thomas Ades, Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez, Philippe Boesmans, Philip Glass, Osvaldo Golijov, György Ligeti, and Olivier Messiaen.
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, Ludwisburg, Mostly Mozart, The BBC Proms, Ravinia, Ruhr, Tanglewood, and Salzburg. A record 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 EuroArts DVD. The Vienna Philharmonic's annual summer concert at Schoenbrunn in June 2016 in which they were the soloists drew a crowd of 100,000 with an additional audience of 1.5 million for the TV simulcast (now available on CD and DVD on the Sony Label).
For their own label KML recordings, they have recently released Sisters with a selection of musical pieces from their personal and professional lives. Fall 2015 saw the release of the DVD from the documentary The Labèque Way produced by "El Deseo" (Pedro Almodovar) and filmed by Félix Cábez. Previous releases include a Gershwin-Bernstein album, and their project Minimalist Dream House (50 years of minimalist music inspired by the early 1961 concerts curated by La Monte Young at Yoko Ono’s downtown New York loft ). Their first recording under the new DG agreement will be music of Stravinsky and Debussy to be released at the end of 2016.
They have also launched the KML Foundation aimed at furthering research and developing awareness of the duo piano repertory through meetings between artists of all fields. One of the recent projects of the foundation was created on the music of famous Hollywood film composer Bernard Herrmann. Katia interpreted some of his film scores together with her rock band and the WDR orchestra, arranged by David Chalmin and commissioned by the orchestra.
In May 2015 the new piece, "Star-Cross'd Lovers", written by David Chalmin received its premiere at the Paris Philharmonie. This original composition for two pianos, electric guitar, and drums, based on the Shakespearean drama Romeo and Juliet, accompanies choreography for seven dancers created by world renowned break-dancer Yaman Okur.
In that same month, they presented the world premiere of Philip Glass’ Concerto written for them with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Gustavo Dudamel.