Barcewicz learned violin under the academic supervision of Apolinary Kątski and Władysław Górski in the Institute of Music in Warsaw. He further studied violin under Ferdynand Laub and Jan Hřímalý, and composition in Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s class in Moscow Imperial Conservatory. He graduated in 1876 with a Gold Medal.
From 1876 on he performed both at home and abroad, gaining renown for his virtuosity. He gave performances in Paris (1878 and 1899), Leipzig, Dresden, Hamburg, Elberfeld, Koblenz, Berlin, Kaliningrad, London, Denmark, Sweden and Norway (1881), Russia (1884), and Riga (1893). He would often perform together with the pianist Aleksander Michałowski. In 1892 Barcewicz established a string quartet with whom he had given several hundred concerts until his death.
The repertoire of the artist comprised classical and Romantic string music almost in its entity – he was most renowned for his interpretations of the pieces by Henryk Wieniawski and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Barcewicz played violin manufactured by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini.
In 1885 Stanisław Barcewicz became the concermaster of the Warsaw Opera orchestra. In 1886, he debuted as conductor during the performance of the opera Gioconda by Amilcare Ponchielli. From that moment on, he would sporadically conduct the orchestra of the Warsaw national scene. From 1893 to 1909 he served the function of the second conductor of Warsaw Opera, working mostly with Polish opera pieces. He also performed as the conductor of chamber concerts (including concerts given by Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra).
In 1886 Barcewicz, while simultaneously developing his musical career, took up teaching – he taught violin and viola, conducted a class in chamber music, and was head of the school orchestra in the Institute of Music in Warsaw. In the years 1910-1918 Barcewicz was also the head of the Institute. He educated many prominent violinists, incluidng Józef Ozimiński, Józef Jarzębski, and Mieczysław Karłowicz (the latter dedicated his Violin Concerto A major opus 8 to Barcewicz; the concerto was first performed in Berlin in 1903).
Written by Małgorzata Kosińska, Polskie Centrum Informacji Muzycznej, Związek Kompozytorów Polskich [Polish Centre for Musical Information, Association of Polish Composers], November 2007, translated by NS, November 2016.