An Introduction to the Duo

Whether the Benzakoun Duo was garnering international prizes from 1988 to 19991 in Italy or the United States ; whether the duo was performing concerts in the U.S. (recently at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.), or in Europe (Austria and Italy), or in Israel ; or in France, where they have appeared in Paris’s widely acclaimed Salle Cortot, in the programming for the University of Paris’s Musique en Sorbonne, in the Grange de Nohant’s musical festivals, and in regionwide tours in central France ; or in a concerto with the Tours/Central Region orchestra, directed by J.Y. Ossonce in the Concerto by Poulenc ; or in the Spanish musical production « Evocacion » with soprano Corinne Sertillanges ; or even in a theatrical concert humorously entitled « Quand Mozart est là . . . » (Everything Would Be Just Fine If Mozart Were Here) ; these appearances were all unforgettable moments of music. Audiences and critics are in total agreement on this : The two pianists combine their efforts perfectly as duettists, their main attribute being the finest interpretation possible of the composition’s overall balance and the emotions that spring from it. (Ouest France, Jan. 10)


After nearly 20 years of an international career, the enthusiasm of these two products of « Artist Diploma » musical background who trained under the Eden-Tamir Duo in 1986, has not diminished. Quite to the contrary ! The discography the Duo Benzakoun has turned out, widely broadcast on France Musique and France Inter, attests to that. Having debuted in 1994 with the work for two pianos by Brahms, it followed up with « Ballet Russes » in 1999 from Mandala (Harmonia Mundi dist.), then with a Ravel CD in 2001 – « Works for Two Pianos » from Integral classic (8, in the review Repertoire), and, more recently, with a « Poulenc, Two Pianos » CD in 2003, from Integral Classic. They have been hailed throughout the press. « Recommended » by the reviews Classica and Répertoire, and a « Favorite » of Piano-Magazine.
A CD devoted to Rachmaninov came out in 2005. The Benzakoun Duo plans to record the work for two pianos by Jolivet after the release, in October 2006, of a Debussy CD (with, notably, a world premier of « Sirènes » -- a nocturn transcribed by Ravel for two pianos.


Press clippings


"This is a reference interpretation of the "Sonata for four hands", whether it be by the acidity of the first movement or the Satie style neutrality of the second one..."

Sylviane Falcinelli - Piano - Le magazine, May 2003


"An excellent Poulenc recording, which not only offers us absolutely rare pages of music, but moreover confirms an incontestable talent whose great seductivity lies in a real commitment to the interpretation, the clarity of the ideas and a remarkable integrity"

Philippe Simon - Répertoire, May 2003


"The Duo Benzakoun possesses the ability to vary the atmospheres [...]. This recital takes over every provocation [...]. A treat a reference"

Stéphane Friédérich - Classica, May 2003


"Laurence and Daniel Benzakoun do not play together "occasionally", they form a genuine duo exploring a very special repertoire. This long-lasting collaboration gave birth to a subtle balance, a harmonious display of sounds, and a controlled strength."

Francine Lajournade - Pianiste, May 2003


"A magical Duo... a splendid and generous virtuosity, exceptional technical qualities, and an emotion all on edge"

Thierry Caquais - Le Maine libre, November 07, 1996


"The two musicians develop a free conception, led by a wide breath, and marked by a subtle agogic and beautiful refinement."

PIANO "Le Magazine", September 2001


To hear several passages of their CDs, go directly to their Web site at the following address: http://www.duobenzakoun.com/en/index.php

Tour program

Click here to see the program in each city 


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Related Sites

  • Fondation Alliance Française
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  • Cultural Services of the French Embassy
  • Federation of Alliance Française USA

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