The Silesian String Quartet was formed in 1978 by then-recent graduates of the Katowice-based Karol Szymanowski University of Music. The members of the SSQ are Szymon Krzeszowiec (first violin), Arkadiusz Kubica (second violin), Lukasz Syrnicki (viola), and Piotr Janosik (cello).
The group immediately drew notice, especially from composers: Andrzej Krzanowski dedicated his 1978 Second String Quartet to it, and the SSQ eventually recorded the work (1990; Polskie Radio Katowice) and still plays the piece, as well as many others by Krzanowski.
The SSQ was awarded prizes at the 1979 Crakow-based Contemporary Music Competition and at the 1981 Poznan Music Spring festival. In the coming years the ensemble would achieve much acclaim at home for its performances of chamber works by Górecki and numerous other Polish composers. In 1988 it was given the Katowice Province Governor's Artistic Award, and in 1990s garnered a string of honors, including two Fryderyk Awards (1996 and 1998) for recordings of works by Górecki, Lutoslawski, Szymanowski, and others.
Tours became more frequent and took the group to the most prestigious concert venues, like Carnegie Hall and London's Wigmore Hall. The SSQ won its third Fryderyk Award in 2005, and from that year the quartet has performed under the patronage of the Self-Government of the City of Gliwice (Poland) and in partnership with the Music Theater of Gliwice. Among more acclaimed recordings is a 2010 CD of the Third String Quartet and other Krzanowski works on the Polskie Radio Katowice label.