In 1984 Sir Yehudi Menuhin was invited to conduct the Polish Chamber Orchestra and perform solo. To meet the demands of his repertoire the renowned orchestra was reinforced by prominent young Polish musicians. Concerts and broadcasts met with enthusiastic reception and the idea of a permanent ensemble comprising 24 string instruments and a double set of woodwinds became a reality. The universal interest in the new formation was such that before leaving Poland Menuhin signed a contract whereby he became permanent guest conductor of the newly-formed Sinfonia Varsovia.
The orchestra soon embarked on concerts in the USA and Canada. It played in Carnegie Hall in New York, the Théatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, the Barbican Centre in London, Teatro Collon in Buenos Aires. It appeared at festivals in Gstaad (Yehudi Menuhin Festival), Montreux, Schlezwig-Holstein, Würzburg, Aix-en-Provence, San Juan (Pablo Casals Festival), Salzburg, Frankfurt (Alte Oper), Warsaw (the Warsaw Autumn Festival). Thanks to its young virtuoso players, the unique sound and practically unlimited repertoire the Sinfonia Varsovia works with the best conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Frühbeck de Burgos, Charles Dutoit, Hans Graf, Leopold Hager, Jacek Kasprzyk, Jan Krenz, Emanuel Krivine, Witold Lutoslawski, Jerzy Maksymiuk, Yehudi Menuhin, Grzegorz Nowak, Mstislav Rostropovich, Krzysztof Penderecki, Michal Plasson, Volker Schmidt-Gertenbach, Jerzy Semkow, Muhai Tang and Bruno Weil. The orchestra has worked with such distinguished soloists as Salvatore Accardo, Maurice André, Martha Argerich, Theresa Berganza, Boeaux Arts Trio, Kyung Wha Chung, Augustine Dumay, Justus Frantz, James Galway, Fou Ts-ong, Kiri Te Kanawa, Gidon Kremer, Alicia de Larrocha, Elisabeth Leonskaya, Christa Ludwig, Radu Lupu, Misha Maiski, Yehudi Menuhin, Shlomo Mintz, Oli Mustonen, Anne Sophie-Mutter, Michala Petri, Murray Perahia, Maria Pires, Jean-Bernard Pommer, Katia Ricciarelli, Mstislav Rostropovich, Heinrich Schiff, Henryk Szeryng, Maria Tipo, Alexis Weissenberg, Christian Zacharias, Frank Peter Zimmermann, Tabea Zimmerman, Grigori Zyslin.
The discography of the Sinfonia Varsovia is extensive and its recordings (for Pathé Marconi-EMI, Virgin Classics, Decca, Dennon Nippon Columbia, Aperto, Polskie Nagrania, CD Accord) have received many coveted awards (Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d'Or). The orchestra works under the patronage of the Art Centre 'Studio'. It is currently directed by Franciszek Wybranczyk, a remarkable manager and co-founder of the Polish Chamber Orchestra and the Sinfonia Varsovia.