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London’s Southbank Centre welcomes the Dream House Quartet with two world premieres.

The sisters Katia (Bayonne, 1950) and Marielle (Bayonne, 1952) Labèque are one of the most prestigious piano duos in the field of classical music. The multiplicity of styles they play, from baroque to contemporary, and their fearlessness of experimentation, has made them an international benchmark. But their union goes beyond the artistic: both sisters live together: Marielle is married to the Russian conductor Semyon Bychkov, and Katia, who was the partner of the jazz guitarist John McLaughlin, has been the girlfriend for years of the composer, singer and guitarist David Chalmin (Paris, 1980), who began to work as the sisters’ producer in 2009. Chalmin was also the producer, in 2013, of Minimalist Dream House, a double album in which the Labèque sisters, in collaboration with David Chalmin (vocals, guitars, bass and electronics), Raphael Seguinier (drums, percussion and electronics) and Nicola Tescari (keyboards, electronics and piano), performed pieces by Glass, Pärt, Nyman, Riley, Duckworth and Howard Skempton, among others.

That was the starting point for Dream House Quartet to be founded five years later, in 2018, in which Katia and Marielle Labèque began working with the aforementioned David Chalmin and the guitarist and main composer of The National Bryce Dessner, to offer experimental interpretations of current composers. Their first project was presented in 2019 at the Philharmonie de Paris with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke as guest, performing pieces created by Yorke for the quartet: Don’t Fear the Light and Gawpers.

This coming Thursday at 19:30, the Dream House Quartet will perform at London’s Southbank Centre with a programme including Meredith Monk’s Ellis Island, Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint, Philip Glass’s 4 Movements for 2 pianos, and pieces by Bryce Dessner (El Chan, in an arrangement for two pianos, and Haven) and David Chalmin (Particule No. 6 and Distant Places), as well as the world premieres of Anna Thorvaldsdottir’s What Things Become and Bryce Dessner’s own Clouds Quartet.

© Photograph by Jonathan McCallum downloaded from the Labèque sisters’ website.