Alexander Bălănescu (born June 11, 1954) is a Romanian violinist, and founder of the Balanescu Quartet.
Balanescu was born in Bucharest, and at the age of seven went to the Special School for Music there. His teachers in Romania were Dolly Koritzer, Garabet Avakian and Stephan Gheorghiu. His studies continued at the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem with Iair Kless, London’s Trinity College with Bela Katona, and from 1975-79 at the Juilliard School, New York with Dorothy DeLay, where he also took part in master classes with Pinchas Zukerman, Itzhak Perlman, Felix Galimir and Robert Mann.
In 1979 Balanescu became leader of the Michael Nyman Band and toured with this group around the world for 15 years. During the same period he was also a member of the Gavin Bryars Ensemble.
Balanescu was in the Arditti Quartet for four years before forming his own quartet in 1987. The Balanescu Quartet has worked closely with Michael Nyman, Gavin Bryars, Kevin Volans, as well as musicians from varied musical fields such as John Lurie, David Byrne, Keith Tippett, Carla Bley, Rabih Abou Khalil, Spiritualized and the Pet Shop Boys. The dynamism of the quartet and its innovative approach to repertoire has led to performances on four continents in diverse venues, ranging from intimate clubs to stadiums.