She studied at the Warsaw Academy of Music (with Alina Bolechowska). She has won main prizes in international piano competitions in Athens, Geneva, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Toulouse and Barcelona. She is widely recognized as the most authentic contralto of her generation and often compared to Marilyn Horne and Kathleen Ferrier (by the Opéra International, Opera News, Orpheus, Gramophone, the San Francisco Examiner). She appears in such grand opera houses as La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera in New York, Covent Garden, Opéra de Paris Bastille, La Fenice, the Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin, the National Theatre in Warsaw, and in concert halls (the Berlin Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony, the Salle Pleyel, the Salle Gaveau, Wigmore Hall, Théâtre de Champs Élysées, Victoria Hall, Alice Tully Hall, the Masonic Auditorium, the National Philharmonic in Warsaw). Her wide discography includes Te Deum by Penderecki (EMI), the world premiere of Airs Célébres (Forlane; Grand Prix du Disque "Orpheed'Or"), Mélodies Russes (with the pianist Graham Johnson (Forlane; Grand Prix de l'Académie Française du Disque), Tancredi by Rossini (Naxos; under Alberto Zedda; nominated for a Grammy Award 1996; Best Buy Award 1995 CD Classic's London), a recital of Rossini's Arias (Naxos; Preis der Deutschen Schallplatten Kritik 1996 Award, Album of the Year 1996" by the journal Studio), Armide by Gluck and Ariodante by Handel with Les Musiciens du Louvre under Marc Minkowski (Deutsche Grammophongesellschaft Archiv Produktion), Mahler's Symphony No.2 with Orchestre National de Lille under Jean Claude Casadesus (Forlane), the Palmarés des Palmarés Award (by Nouvelle Académie du Disque). Claude Gingras wrote in La Presse (25 July 1998):
"Ewa Podles' recital was one of the most extraordinary experiences in the whole history of the Lanaudiere Festival. I had known her voice from recordings but her live performance hypnotized me with an unexpected richness, a wide palette of colours and unusual force. The charismatic Polish singer is a master of her art. She integrates her voice with the orchestra in a very consistent manner and creates her recitatives and arias with precision. Her astonishing virtuosity is all the time subordinated to musical expression and results from her absolute awareness of the sense of each word sung. Her sustained sounds resemble the trumpet and her voice is free of any falsity or vulgarity. She had hardly finished her first aria when the audienceburst into applause. The radio broadcast may have given listeners a vague idea about her unique voice. Yet those who missed the live concert have missed a lot."