Sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque have been among the world’s top piano duos for over 50 years. The pianists have been guests of the Berliner Philharmoniker several times since 1987 – for example, in June 2005 at the season’s closing concert at the Waldbühne, with a French programme: “Ravel was born only a few kilometres away from us. And our mother was a pupil of Marguerite Long, who in turn was a friend of Ravel” (Katia Labèque).
Katia and Marielle Labèque were born in the French Basque Country and were taught as children by their Italian mother, the respected musician and piano teacher Ada Cecchi. Soon after studying at the Conservatoire de Paris, the sisters began their career as a piano duo. Today, they perform regularly with the major European and US orchestras and work with conductors such as Semyon Bychkov, John Eliot Gardiner, Paavo Järvi, Zubin Mehta, Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Michael Tilson Thomas. Their wide-ranging repertoire stretches back to the 18th century, with Katia and Marielle Labèque also performing on fortepianos together with Baroque ensembles such as Il Giardino Armonico, the Venice Baroque Orchestra or the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Contemporary composers such as Thomas Adès, Louis Andriessen, Osvaldo Golijov and Bryce Dessner have worked closely with the piano duo. At the Walt Disney Concert Hall, Katia and Marielle Labèque premiered Philip Glass’s Double Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra with the LA Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. They also gave the world premieres of the Double Concertos by Bryce Dessner and Nico Muhly.