Friday, February 29, 2008
Many kids grow up learning a musical instrument.
But how many actually become professional musicians?
And how many siblings are professional musicians who travel together?
Katia and Marielle Labeque do.
The sisters play the piano and tonight they performed in Beijing at the Forbidden City Concert Hall.
Unfortunately the auditorium wasn't full, but the audience made up for the empty space with generous clapping.
After the Beijing Philharmonic played Hector Berlioz's Le Carnaval Romain, space was made on the stage for two grand pianos.
Then the duo came out. Katia the younger one in a long white coat with large sleeves that had black lining, while Marielle wore a tight-fitting black jacket with a giant bustle at the back. Both wore cigarette pants and heels.
They performed Francis Poulenc's Concerto in D minor for two pianos and orchestra. From the beginning Marielle attacked the piano and seemed to display more passion for the music than her sister, jumping up from her seat or throwing her head back in rapture.
In sections of the piece, it sounded like Balinese music, which was interesting to hear on the piano.
Afterwards, the audience kept clapping and the sisters rewarded them with the Hungarian Dance on two pianos. They performed it with such precision, one would only think siblings could accomplish that.
More clapping ensued and they played a Japanese song sitting at one piano. They played one more encore before finally leaving the stage.
This performance is part of their Asian tour through Seoul, Guangzhou, Suzhou, Beijing, and ending in Shanghai tomorrow.
While Marielle is the more classical pianist, Katia has also experimented with jazz, performing with Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea.
What also unites the two sisters is the KML Foundation they established in 2005. It aims at furthering research and enlarging the repertoire for duo piano repertoire. The foundation is also for children to learn more about classical music.
Hopefully they will come back again soon with their infectious love of music.