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Marielle Labèque

Marielle Labèque is a French pianist known for her long collaboration with her sister in the Katia and Marielle Labèque piano duo. She also co-founded the Studio KML and KML Recordings label, which supports young and experimental recording artists. She was born in Bayonne in 1952, and both of her parents were musicians. Her father sang in the choir of the Bordeaux Opera, and her mother, Ada Cecchi, was a pianist and former student of Marguerite Long. Labèque and her older sister Katia began learning the piano from their mother in 1955, and later they studied piano at the Paris Conservatory. After her graduation in 1968 she started learning four-hand and two-piano repertoire with her sister under Jean Hubeau in the cycle de perfectionnement, and in 1969 they made their recording debut with the album Olivier Messiaen: Visions De L'Amen. They continued in this genre through the '70s and became very popular, but they gained worldwide acclaim after their 1980 album Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue sold over 500,000 copies. They performed and recorded the standard repertoire and new works by composers such as Philip Glass, Luciano Berio, and Arvo Pärt. Labèque and her sister explored Baroque repertoire in the late '90s and performed under many of the top conductors of the genre, including Simon Rattle, John Eliot Gardiner, and Andrea Marcon. It was also around this time when Labèque married conductor Semyon Bychkov. After a ten-year-long break from recording, she cofounded the KML Recordings label with her sister in 2007, where they released their own records and those of young and experimental ensembles from other genres, such as Dream House, Kalakan, and Red Velvet. Labèque remained very active with the piano duo through the 2010s and recorded several albums on the KML label, including Gershwin: Rhapsody in Blue; Bernstein: West Side Story and Minimalist Dream House. Since 2020 she has appeared on the albums Nazareno: Bernstein, Stravinsky, Golijov and Dream House Quartet. Labèque resides with her sister in a palace in Rome and travels with her husband.
© RJ Lambert /TiVo


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