Kęstutis Grybauskas was born on 30 May 1932 in Kaunas. His first music teacher was his mother Eugenija Grybauskienė, a graduate of the Moscow Conservatoire, and later he was taught by a number of outstanding piano teachers, including Aldona Dvarionienė, Marija Alšlebėnaitė and E. Herbek-Hansen. In 1956, he graduated from the Lithuanian State Conservatoire, where he studied under Professor Stasys Vainiūnas. After graduation in 1956 he was engaged as an accompanist at the Lithuanian State Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre, where he worked until 1960, when he began teaching at the Juozas Tallat-Kelpša Higher School of Music, and later, in 1962, at the Lithuanian State Conservatoire (at present Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre). From 1973 to 1987, he was the head of the Piano Department and was conferred the title of professor in 1983. From 1983 to 1994, he served as Vice-rector for studies. From 1997 to 2005, he headed the Piano Department at the Kaunas Faculty of the Academy. In 1998, he was elected Chair of the Senate of the Lithuanian Academy of Music and Theatre. He is a member of the Board of the Lithuanian Musicians Union. Since 1991, he has been President of the Lithuanian Branch of the European Piano Teachers’ Association and Vice-president of the European Piano Teachers’ Association.
In 1961, Grybauskas formed a piano duo together with his wife Liuda Grybauskienė. The Grybauskas Piano Duo gave over 500 concerts in Lithuania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Latvia, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. They performed with the Lithuanian National Symphony and the Lithuanian Chamber orchestras, under the direction of Juozas Domarkas, Saulius Sondeckis, Eri Klass, Jonas Aleksa, Margarita Dvarionaitė and Gintaras Rinkevičius. In 1991, Grybauskas formed a trio and a quartet of pianists.
One of the most enchanting and fascinating elements in ensemble music-making is the ability to combine the performers’ mutual musical understanding with individual artistic qualities of each member of an ensemble. This is very much characteristic of the piano quartet led by Kęstutis Grybauskas, which also includes Vilma Rindzevičiūtė, Giedrė Gabnytė and Vida Badaitienė, who all, following the example of the maestro, have become experienced specialists in the field of piano ensemble and laureates of international piano ensemble competitions.
The Kęstutis Grybauskas Piano Quartet regularly performs in Lithuania and abroad. They have given over 200 concerts in Lithuania and abroad, including appearances at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, the Wagner Hall and the Ave Sol Hall in Riga, the University of Arts in Graz, the Haden Freeman Hall of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, and in Belgium, Italy, Norway, Switzerland and Germany.
Kęstutis Grybauskas has premièred a great deal of Lithuanian music for piano and two pianos four, six and eight hands. He has recorded five CDs and a retrospective CD of the Grybauskas Piano Duo. In 2006, he recorded a CD called “Piano Duo – Piano Trio”, containing compositions for piano six hands. He has made many recordings for Lithuanian National Radio and Television.
Professor Grybauskas has taught the piano, piano duets and accompaniment to over 100 students, including now-famous Lithuanian and foreign teachers and performers, winners of international competitions and recipients of the Lithuanian National Arts and Culture Prize. He regularly leads master classes for pianists and piano duos both in Lithuania and abroad.
In 1982, a seminar/practicum for piano teachers was first held in Lithuania on the initiative of Kęstutis Grybauskas. Taking place every year in one of five Lithuanian cities (Vilnius, Kaunas, Klaipėda, Šiauliai and Panevėžys), the event is already in its 25th year.
In 1997, on the initiative of Grybauskas, the International Competition for Piano Duos, a brand new competition in Lithuania, took place. Held every second year in Kaunas, it became a full member of the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth (EMCY) in 2004. Grybauskas has been the chair and a member of the panel of judges at many international competitions in Lithuania and abroad.
Professor Grybauskas has published a number of scholarly and methodological articles and a book; has compiled, edited and published three compilations of methodological articles; has participated in many scholarly and methodological conferences and has edited and published a number of books of abstracts from the conferences. He has published two compilations of his own transcriptions for piano duo. In 2005 – 2006, he prepared for publication another three compilations of his own transcriptions for one and two pianos six and eight hands.
In 2006, Kęstutis Grybauskas was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Order of the Lithuanian Grand Duke Gediminas.