Joanna Marcinkowska graduated with honors from the Ignacy Jan Paderewski Academy of Music of Poznań in the class of Prof. Waldemar Andrzejewski, whose assistant she subsequently became. In 2006 she was conferred the academic degree of Doctor of Musical Arts and appointed Lecturer at the Department of the Pianoforte of the Academy.
She is a leading Polish pianist of the young generation. She has won awards and prizes at twenty-one international and Polish piano competitions and festivals, including:
the 1st prize at the International Piano Competition “Artur Rubinstein In Memoriam” in Bydgoszcz (1996);
the 2nd prize at the 7th European Chopin Competition in Darmstadt (2002);
the 2nd prize and a special award for the best performance of pieces by Szymanowski at the 5th International Karol Szymanowski Competition in Łódź (2001);
the 3rd prize and an award of the audience at the 5th International Piano Competition in Cologne, Germany (2001);
the main prize at the 30th Festival of Polish Piano Music in Słupsk (1996).
She has also won competitions of chamber music:
the 1st prize at the National Polish Competition of Ensembles of Chamber Music in Bydgoszcz, and an award for the best pianist of the Competition (1994);
the 1st prize and the Grand Prix “Apollo’s Chariot” at the National Polish Competition of Chamber Music in Wrocław (1995).
In December 1996, on the strength of her recordings, the Japanese Music Foundation JESC granted her its scholarship for the best young Polish pianist.
Joanna Marcinkowska has given recitals and performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras in many cities of Poland. She has appeared with such renowned ensembles as the Polish Radio Chamber Orchestra “Amadeus” under Agnieszka Duczmal or the Orchestra “Concerto Avenna” under Andrzej Mysiñski, and with distinguished Polish and foreign conductors including Tadeusz Strugała, Jerzy Salwarowski, Marek Pijarowski, Grzegorz Nowak, Ruben Silva, Bohdan Jarmołowicz, Jan Miłosz Zarzycki, Ian Hobson, Helmut Froschauer, Gert Sell and Vladimir Kiradjiev. As a chamber musician, she has collaborated with artists such as Stanisław Firlej, Michał Grabarczyk, Bartosz Bryła, Agata Szymczewska, Michał Bryła, Marcel Markowski. She has given recitals abroad in Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, Macedonia, the Netherlands, Portugal and Sweden, and outside Europe in the USA and China.
She has taken part in numerous prestigious piano festivals in Poland and abroad. She gave recitals and performed as a soloist with symphony orchestras at International Chopin Festivals in Duszniki-Zdrój (1997, 2000), Antonin (“Chopin in the Colors of the Autumn,” 1996), Vienna (1999), in Salzburg at the famous Mozarteum-Saal (1999), Gaming (1997), at the International Festival “Eminent Winners of Piano Competitions” in Hanover (2002), at Festivals of Polish Piano Music in Słupsk (1996, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2011), the Festival “Paderewski Days” in Kąśna Dolna, the Festival “Music and Visual Arts” in Lublin, the 1st International Artur Rubinstein Festival in Łódź (2008), the 1st Chopin Festival “Chopiniada” at the Little Philharmonic in Puszczykowo, the 2nd Musical Festival “Barbakan” in Kraków (2009), the Festival “The Stars Promote” in Jelenia Góra (2010), the Festival “Piano Passion” in Saint-Étienne (2010), the Festival “Frederic Chopin Spring” in Gliwice ( 2012 ) and the Witold Lutosławski Festival in Szczecin (2000); at the latter event she gave the première performance of the 4th Piano Sonata by the Poznań composer Mirosław Bukowski. In 2002 she gave recitals of pieces by Karol Szymanowski at International Musical Festivals in Sofia and Plovdiv (Bulgaria).
She has earned the Medal of the Young Arts, awarded to Poznań artists of the young generation for outstanding achievements, and the Hipolit Cegielski Medal of the Young Positivist for successful organic work. Furthermore, on numerous occasions she has been granted artistic scholarships of the Minister of Culture of the Republic of Poland and the Fryderyk Chopin Society of Warsaw, as well as those of the City of Poznań and the Marshal of the Province of Greater Poland.
Joanna Marcinkowska has recorded compositions by W. A. Mozart, J. Haydn, R. Schumann, F. Chopin, C. Debussy and K. Szymanowski, released on compact disks and cassettes. The television programs in which she has performed include a recital of music by Chopin, recorded on the 187th anniversary of the composer’s birthday. She has also recorded a program of Chopin’s music for Polish Radio “Merkury” in Poznań.
In 2008, the company “Polskie Nagrania” issued a CD with her recordings of Mikhail Pletnev’s transcriptions of the ballets The Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.
In 2009, Joanna Marcinkowska conducted a two weeks’ Master Piano Class at the Central School at the Conservatory of Music in Beijing. She also gave a special piano recital in that city.