Katia and Marielle were born on the southwest coast of France near the Spanish border. The two sisters are a sharply contrasted, yet highly communicative piano team. Their repertoire includes a broad range of material, from Bach on period instruments to the 21st century contemporary composers.
The sisters received initial instruction from their Italian mother, Ada Cecchi (former student of Marguerite Long), who began lessons when her daughters were three and five years of age. Upon graduation in their mid-teens, the two undertook performance of contemporary music. While a certain notoriety came with this performance repertoire, true celebrity arrived when their two-piano recording of Gershwin´s Rhapsody in Blue sold over a half million copies.
They enjoy collaborations with many of the world´s leading conductors, among them Giovanni Antonini, Semyon Bychkov, Gustavo Dudamel, Charlie Dutoit, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Zubin Mehta, Antonio Pappano, Georges Prêtre, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin and Michael Tilson Thomas. They have performed with the world´s most prestigious orchestras: Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus, London Symphony, the Philharmonia, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Filarmonica della Scala, Philadelphia Orchestra, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Dresden Staatskapelle and Vienna Philharmonie.
As recitalists, they have appeared at such music festivals as Berlin, Blossom, Edinburgh, Hollywood Bowl, Luzern, New York´s Mostly Mozart, BBC Proms, Ravinia, Tanglewood, Rheingau, Ruhr, Schleswig Holstein, and the Salzburg Easter and Pentecote Festivals.
They had the privilege of working with composers including Louis Andriessen,Joan Albert Amargos,Luciano Berio,Pierre Boulez,Osvaldo Golijov,György Ligeti,Olivier Messiaen.
Next creations includes concertos by Philippe Boesmans and Richard Dubugnon.
Katia and Marielle commissioned two Silbermann instruments of mid-eighteenth century design on which to perform music of that period with such Baroque groups as The English Baroque Soloists, Il Giardino Armonico, Musica Antiqua Köln, Venice Baroque, and the Gabrieli Players. For the Bach Centennial, their concert at the Vienna Musikverein with Il Giardino Armonico was televised worldwide by ORF and recorded on DVD.
After many recordings for EMI, Philips and Sony, Katia and Marielle´s aspiration to build a bridge crossing all style of music and contemporary creation has led them to form their own record label, KML Recordings www.kmlrecordings.com
Katia and Marielle Labèque launched the KML Foundation www.fondazionekml.com aimed at furthering research and developing awareness of the duo piano repertory through meetings between artists of all fields. One of their projects is a programme for children under the auspices of the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation´s program Zukunft @BPhil, brought into existence by Sir Simon Rattle. In addition to the Zukunft @BPhil association, Katia and Marielle have enjoyed huge success performing with the Berlin Philharmonic at their closing Gala Concert at the Waldbühne, playing to a record audience of 33,000. This concert was broadcast on television worldwide.
Katia and Marielle appeared at Disney Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the world premiere of Dutch composer Louis Andriessen’s double piano concerto, ´The Hague Hacking,´ commissioned by the LA Philharmonic and led by Esa-Pekka Salonen. The European premieres took place at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam and at London´s Royal Albert Hall for the BBC Proms.
2010 includes the world premieres of Osvaldo Golijov/Gonzalo Grau´Nazareno´ with Orchestre de Paris and Joan Albert Amargos ´Paisajes Sonoros de Espana´ with Orquesta Nacional de Espana.
Katia and Marielle are artists in residency for the season 2009/10 in the prestigious Gewandhaus in Leipzig .