Katia and Marielle Labèque, pianists 

Who or what inspired you to take up the piano pursue a career in music?

Our mother. She was a pianist and a pupil of Marguerite Long.

Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

Luciano Berio

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

Being able to reinvent our repertoire each time we perform and take on a new project. For our latest project, Minimalist Dream House, we are especially proud to include a brand-new work, Thom Yorke’s Don’t Fear The Light. It’s Thom’s first composition for classical musicians and concert halls, and he is one of the musicians we admire the most. He is an amazing composer and artist, one of the most important of our time.

Which performance/recordings are you most proud of?

All of them!

They are part of an ‘ensemble’ and together they represent who we are today as people and musicians.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

We simply choose the music and composers we love

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

Like most classical musicians we love: Musikverein in Vienna, Philharmonie in Paris, Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam as well as some of the small churches which can be miraculous to play in

Who are your favourite musicians?

Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Stravinsky, Miles Davis, Thom Yorke, Bryce Dessner, David Chalmin

What is your most memorable concert experience?

We recently played in Vienna at the Schoenbrunn Castle in front of an audience of 100,000, which reached even more worldwide via the TV broadcast

As musicians, what is your definition of success?

Never believe you’ve reached the pinnacle of success!

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

Use your imagination and don’t be afraid!

Where would you like to be in 10 years’ time?

On stage

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

To be with and have the people we love around us

What is your present state of mind?

We are excited to be playing this fantastic programme of minimalist music with Thom Yorke, Bryce Dessner and David Chalmin at the Barbican next week
Minimalist Dream House featuring Katia & Marielle Labèque, Bryce Dessner and David Chalmin + special guest Thom Yorke. Works by Caroline Shaw, David Lang, Timo Andres, Bryce Dessner, David Chalmin, Max Richter and new works by Thom Yorke 

Tue 9 April 2019, Barbican Hall, 7.30pm

Find out more 

Acclaimed pianists, sisters Katia and Marielle Labèque, are renowned for their energetic double act and their passion for minimalist music. In 2013 they released an album entitled Minimalist Dream House, featuring works by minimal music pioneers and their successors. 

The Labèques now continue their journey, which started with the album, with a series of live concerts in April 2019, also featuring Bryce Dessner (guitar) and David Chalmin (guitar, voice, live-electronic) and special guest Radiohead front man Thom Yorke.  

The sisters and their guests will perform works by American composers Caroline Shaw, David Lang, Timo Andres, Bryce Dessner, French composer David Chalmin and a 2002 piece by German/British composer Max Richter. The second half of the concert will be dedicated to the UK premiere of Thom Yorke’s new composition for Katia & Marielle Labèque. Titled Don’t Fear The Light, this work for two pianos, electronics and modular synthesizer is Yorke’s first composition for classical music artists and concert halls. Thom Yorke will appear and perform on stage with Katia & Marielle Labèque at the Philharmonie de Paris (7 April), Auditorium de Lyon (8 April), Barbican Centre, London (9 April) and Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg (10 April), the four co-commissioners of Don’t Fear The Light. He will also perform a new song with the pianists to close the concerts

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