The French pianists, Katia & Marielle Labèque, are daughters of Ada Cecchi, a former student of Marguerite Long. They spent a childhood filled with music. Both of them studied with their mother and at the Paris Conservatoire.
These non-conformist pianists boast a repertory from the eclectic to the unexpected. From the onset, they dedicated themselves to the contemporary scene, including the work of composers such as Pierre Boulez, Luciano Berio, Ligeti and Messiaen. Their repertoire includes a broad range of seemingly contradictory material, in which they move comfortably from J.S. Bach, Johannes Brahms, Franz Liszt, Mozart, Igor Stravinsky, Gershwin, Leonard Bernstein, Takemitsu, and Lutoslawsky to the young contemporary composers.
Katia & Marielle Labèque have a stunning career throughout the world and have been guests of the most prestigious orchestras, including the Berliner Philharmoniker, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala, Philadelphia Orchestra, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Dresden Staatskapelle and Wiener Philharmoniker. They have played under the direction of conductors such as Semyon Bychkov, Sir Colin Davis, Charlie Dutoit, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa, Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leonard Slatkin, Christoph Eschenbach and Michael Tilson Thomas. They are regular guests at Festivals, including Berlin, Blossom, the Hollywood Bowl, Lucerne, Ludwisburg, Mozartwoche Salzburg, Mostly Mozart New York, The Proms, Ravinia, Rheingau, Ruhr, Schleswig Holstein, Tanglewood, and the Salzburg Easter and Pentecote Festivals.
Katia & Marielle Labèque have appeared with such Baroque groups as The English Baroque Soloists directed by Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Il Giardino Armonico directed by Giovanni Antonini, Musica Antiqua Köln directed by Reinhard Goebel, Venice Baroque Orchestra directed by Andrea Marcon, and the Gabrieli Players directed by Paul McCreesh. For the Bach Centennial, their concert at the Vienna Musikverein with Il Giardino Armonico was televised worldwide by ORF and recorded on DVD.
Their first recording for Philips, of Gershwin´s Rhapsody in Blue, received a Gold Disc immediately after its release. Since then Katia & Marielle Labèque have made numerous recordings for Philips, Sony and EMI. The aspiration to build a bridge crossing all aspects of contemporary creation has led them to form their own label, KML Recordings, and they are forming a creative alliance with newly launched Onyx classics label through which their records will be distributed. Transgressing conventions and boundaries, KML Recordings brings together the unexpected in meaningful and artistic ways, constantly associating sounds and images. Their vision goes beyond classical music to look at new territories where rock, electronic, contemporary, improvisation and video have their say. The first releases in 2007 comprise an all-Ravel programme , including a new version of Bolero (from the composer himself) with added Basque percussion, a CD of I. Stravinsky and Debussy with a DVD directed by Tal Rosner, and a recording of Mozart and Schubert.
In 2005 Katia & Marielle Labèque launched the KML Foundation, aimed at furthering research and developing awareness of the duo piano repertory through meetings between artists of all fields, be they musicians, film-makers or writers. One of their projects is a programme for children under the auspices of the Berlin Philharmonic Foundation's program, brought into existence by Sir Simon Rattle. In addition to this association, they have enjoyed huge success performing with the Berlin Philharmonic at their closing Gala Concert at the Waldbühne, playing to with a record audience of 33,000. This concert was telecast world-wide, and Euroarts is planning to release it on DVD. Another exciting new project of the Foundation is the Beatles: Across the Universe project, presented in co-operation with the visual artist and director Fabio Massimo Iaquone, and an international musicians ensemble: Viktoria Mullova, Giovanni Sollima, David Chalmin, Matthew Garrisson, Marque Gilmore and Nicola Tescari. The project will tour world-wide starting in the 2006-2007 season. Recently the foundation has been offered the artistic direction of the festival "Anima Mundi" in Pisa with Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
Katia & Marielle Labèque's upcoming USA highlights include appearances with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra among others.