"It's nice to be able to surprise yourself while you're playing...."

Marcus Sukiennik sees himself as a wanderer between sound worlds. As a pianist, composer and arranger, he explores centuries of musical history with his work - and examines the developments of current listening habits.
Living in Cologne since 1993, the artist uses components of classical music and jazz, motifs of traditional folk songs as well as pop music elements.

Sukiennik writes arrangements of classical melodies, composing mainly for piano solo, occasionally for jazz bands. As a bar pianist, he has also been playing contemporary background music for more than 25 years in a wide variety of venues, including as artistic director in the piano bar of the Excelsior Hotel Ernst in Cologne and at the Musical Dome as the entrée to the show Moulin Rouge.

Between kicking, jazz and classical music

Born in the Rhineland, Sukiennik comes from a music-loving family. He takes up the piano at the age of 8, later founds a school band together with his brother and develops more and more his own style, influenced by jazz music. At that time, however, the young amateur musician is also preoccupied with a second passion: playing football. After some deliberation, he makes a choice - and decides in favour of music.

From 1987 Marcus Sukiennik studies jazz piano and classical piano in Hilversum, the Netherlands, with Karel Boehlee, Henk Elkerbout and Rob Madna. He completes further studies in composition/arrangement under the supervision of film composer and conductor Jurre Haanstra at the Conservatorium in Amsterdam between 1997-2011, as well as with jazz pianist and WDR big band leader Bill Dobbins at the Hochschule für Musik in Cologne.

Getting to the core

Sukiennik's artistic development is shaped by his encounter with the Cologne pianist and composer Eckart Wilkens in the early nineties. Their exchange leads him to an in-depth study of classical piano literature and variation works. It also awakens his interest in tracing the unifying element of music-making and its essential core beyond stylistics and forms of expression. As a pianist, Sukiennik has mastered a wide range of styles - what his pieces have in common though is simplicity, clarity and feeling.

To date, his published work includes 7 albums, several singles and 4 music books released on Sukiennik's own label Line 21. Among them, the most significant works are the big band project A Night In Tunisia Suite (2000), the piano solo album Atme Seele, heile - Breathe soul, heal - (2016) and the first live performance in front of an audience at LOFT Cologne in 2017 Beste Tage (Best days)..

For his compositions and arrangements, Sukiennik has been repeatedly honoured with the VDM Award and occupied top spots on the charts99 with his releases.

Marcus Sukiennik lectured combo and big band at the University of Duisburg, taught music history at the VHS Cologne and has been running his own piano school since 1993.

Selected projects

2010 to date: Pianist at the Excelsior Hotel Ernst Cologne, since 2015 artistic director
2022 to date: Pianist at the Musical Dome, greeting before the show Moulin Rouge
2022 to date: Pianist in the ensemble Classic Light Cologne
2022 to date: Pianist at the Sheraton Pelikan Hotel Hanover
2021-2022: Participation as pianist of the Klezmer Concerts Cologne Academy Orchestra
2009-2017: Pianist at the Steigenberger Grandhotel Petersberg
2014-2016: Pianist at the WDR Funkhaus Cologne
2000: Participation as pianist and composer at the MusikTriennale Cologne