Marielle et Katia Labèque

French Pianists (born in 1952 and 1950, respectively, in Bayonne)

Marielle and Katia Labèque are sisters and pianists, they usually perform together as a duo.

Marielle and Katia Labèque were born into a family of musicians; their father was part of an operatic choir in Bordeaux, while their mother was a pianist who had taken lessons from Marguerite Long. The sisters attended the Paris Conservatoire and both were awarded a Premier Prix in 1968. They quickly became interested in repertoire for piano for four hands. Their first recording was Les Visions de l’amen.  of Olivier Messiaen, with the composer stepping in as conductor.

It was their 1980 recording of Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin that launched the Labèque sisters’ international career. They went on to perform with prestigious orchestras, such as the Berlin Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony and the London Philharmonic Orchestras and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, with conductors such as Sir Colin Davis, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Paavo Järvi, Zubin Mehta, Georges Prêtre, Sir Simon Rattle and Esa-Pekka Salonen. 

The Labèque sisters have a very large and eclectic repertoire, which reflects their playing career – they have played with baroque music ensembles (Musica Antica and the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment), and also worked with contemporary composers (such as Luciano Berio, Pierre Boulez and Györgi Ligeti). A number of works have been expressly written for them, including Water Dances by Michael Nyman and Battlefield by Richard Dubugnon. 

In 2007, the Labèque sisters founded their own record label KBL Recordings, which has allowed them to showcase different genres such as alternative rock and experimental music

Six Landmark Dates in the Lives of the Labèque Sisters

• 1968 : Both were awarded Premier prix at the Conservatoire de Paris
 • 1980 : They recorded Rhapsody in Blue (for two pianos), which became the label Philips Records' first Platinum recording
 • 2005 : The Sisters founded Fondazione KML in Rome
 • 2007 : The Sisters created their own label, KML Recordings
 • 2009 : They released their first record on the label, a recording of the Basque trio Kalakan
 • 2011 : The Sisters played for 50 Years of Minimalism, in King’s Place, London 

Six Key Recordings by the Labèque Sisters 

• 2000 : The Complete Symphonic Poems for Two Pianos, Liszt  (Cedille)
 • 2005 : Double Concerto for Piano and Double Sonata for  Piano, Bartok, with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Simon Rattle (Parlophone Label Group)
 • 2007 : Stravinsky / Debussy  (KML Recordings)
 • 2008 : De Fuego y de Agua  [Of Fire and Water] (KML Recordings)
 • 2011 : Rhapsody in Blue  (Georges Gershwin ) and West Side Story  (Leonard Bernstein ) (KML Recordings)
 • 2013: Minimalist Dream House  (KML Recordings)