Grażyna Bienkowski
Composer | musician | songwriter


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 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), 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.

In 2021, Off-Record Label contacted Grażyna to participate in the Erik Satie’s Vexations Series. She was immediately interested in the project. The unusual idea of Alain Lefebvre (Off-Record Label, BE) and Wataru Iwata (JA) to interpret Vexations freely but under the instructions of 40 performances immediately appealed to her as a pianist but especially as a composer. The result of this posthumous collaboration was a new symphony articulated around 3 movements where she created a kind of macro-work that integrates Satie’s piece into her composition. This piece released digitally in 2021 then in 2023 under the label SOOND for the CD version called Vexations revisited.

Between 2021 and 2024, she toured with the poetic-musical show “J’ai oublié d’être un homme” created in collaboration with the Belgian singer and actress Karin Clercq. In this show, Grażyna shines not only as the composer of all the solo piano music but also as an actress paying tribute to the magnificent texts of female poets of the 19th and 20th centuries all over the world.
The year 2024 marks the release of her most personal album On the Edge of Sylvia (December Square/ Kuroneko, 2024). Conceived as a literary soundtrack mixing songs and instrumental pieces in a jazz style, this opus, whose common thread is the literary figure of the American poet Sylvia Plath, brings together Grażyna’s musical influences as well as choice guests (Jeanna Criscitiello, DAAN, Ken Stringfellow).

Grażyna is also 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.