COMPOSER – MUSICIAN – SONGWRITER
Born in Belgium to Polish parents, Grażyna Bienkowski is a pianist, cellist, composer and musicologist based in Brussels.
Grażyna started learning the piano aged 7 with Stéphane Stas and a few years later the cello with Etienne Capelle. After graduating high school, she studied Musicology and Cultural Management at university and completed her training at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels. Passionate about jazz music, she had become familiar with most major jazz great pianists by the time she completed her studies. During her schooling, Grażyna also developped an interest in composition through film scores by composers such as John Barry, Zbigniew Preisner, Alberto Iglesias.
Grażyna has taken lessons, master classes, workshops in piano, cello, chamber music and music pedagogy with musicians from different backgrounds such as Thierry Fiévet, Anne Franck, Mikhail Faerman, Jean-Luc Pappi, Catherine Lebrun, Justus Grimm (D), Sarah Goldfarb & Richard Frostick (EN).
Between 2006 and 2014, Grażyna worked at the Opera de La Monnaie and for BOZAR in Brussels as a cultural developement officer and pedagogue. She also held the position of project coordinator in Passa Porta (International House of Literature in Brussels) for festivals and meetings for 5 years. She occasionally was invited as a freelance musicologist in debates, conferences or talks around music.
2005 marks her first steps in composition with neo-classical pieces for dance performances. Drawing on influences as diverse as Sergeï Rachmaninov, Steve Reich, Mickael Nyman, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Keith Jarrett or Bill Evans, she has written many instrumental piano-based pieces for small musical formations.
In 2010 she released Antichambre, her first EP for piano solo.
Literature and poetry always played an important part in her inspiration and she naturally became a songwriter in 2015, when she initiated Wolves, a female duo in which she handled all composition and writing, played the piano, keyboards, cello and vocals. Products of Love, a 14 track LP was released under the Belgian label Homerecords.be in 2018.
Grażyna Bienkowski has performed in many countries (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Morocco among others) under her own name but also under joint efforts with artists such as DAAN, Karin Clercq, Teuk Henri, Patrice Soletti (F), Emmanuel Delcourt (F), Pierre Hurty (F), Bertier, Ken Stringfellow(US) as a live/studio musician, and for radio and TV performances.
Today, she is dedicating herself to the composition and production of her most personal works.
She is a member of the Belgian Screen Composers Guild and part of the team of composers in the Belgian film music company Rabada.
From the beginning, her music was described as narrative and sensitive, with a very personal strength, escaping the rules of any style classification but subtly playing with them.