Centennial Players In honor of the San Francisco Symphony’s 100th season, The Examiner is showcasing contributors to the orchestra’s distinguished history.
Alexander Barantschik, concertmaster
The St. Petersburg-born concertmaster worked with Michael Tilson Thomas as the first chair in the London Symphony Orchestra back in the 1990s, when MTT was principal conductor. Barantschik emigrated from Russia at a young age in 1979, having won the International Violin Competition in Sion, Switzerland, and the Russian National Violin Competition. He has exclusive use of the 1742 Guarnerius del Gesù violin used in the premiere of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto in 1845. The instrument was favored by the legendary Jascha Heifetz, who bequeathed it to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, with the stipulation that it be played only by artists worthy of its legacy.