Boris Kuschnir, born in Kiev in1948, studied violin at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory with Boris Belenky and chamber music with Valentin Berlinsky, of the Borodin Quartet. His many encounters with Dmitri Shostakovich and David Oistrakh, with whom he also studied, have had a lasting influence on his artistic development.
He won numerous prizes at international violin and chamber music competitions in Paris, Belgrade, Sion, Bratislava, Florence, Trieste, and Hamburg. He has given master classes and served as a jury member of renowned international competitions including the Tchaikovsky (Moscow), Queen Elisabeth (Brussels), Nicolò Paganini (Genoa), Tibor Varga (Switzerland), Michael Hill (New Zealand), and Eurovision. In 1982, he became an Austrian citizen, and, since 1984, has been Professor at the Vienna Conservatory. In 1999, he was also appointed University Professor at the Music University of Graz.
A founding member or the Moscow String Quartet in 1970, he played with the ensemble for nine years. In 1984, Kuschnir founded the Wiener Schubert Trio, which received many prestigious awards including the Mozart Interpretationspreis in 1988 and the Prize of the Ernst-von-Siemens Foundation in 1990. In 1993, he founded the Vienna Brahms Trio which made their highly acclaimed debut at the Gidon Kremer's Lockenhaus Festival in Austria. In 1996, the Trio won First Prize at the 9th International Chamber Music Competition in Illzach, France. Their recording of Schumann's complete works for Piano trio was released on the Naxos label in 1999. In 2003, he co-founded the Kopelman Quartet which still performs all over the world.
His reputation as a teacher has afforded him international recognition with the outstanding success of his pupils: Julian Rachlin (1st Prize EBU Grand Prix for Young Musicians, Amsterdam 1988), Nikolaj Znaider (1st Prize Queen Elisabeth Competition, Brussels 1997), Lidia Baich (1st Prize EBU Grand Prix for Young Musicians, Vienna 1998), Dalibor Karvay (1st Price EBU Grand Prix for Young Musicians, Berlin 2002, and 1st Prize International Tibor Varga Competition, Switzerland 2003), Alexandra Soumm (1st Prize EBU Grand Prix for Young Musicians, Lucerne 2004), Kirill Kobantschenko, Tibor Kovac, Eugeni Andrusenko (all violinists at the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra), Melina Mandozzi (Guest Concertmaster at the London Symphony Orchestra) and Vahid Khadem-Missagh (First Concertmaster of Niederösterreichisches Tonkünstler Orchestra). Moreover Boris Kuschnir as a violin teacher has produced more than 20 prize winners of national and international competitions.
He has performed as a soloist and a chamber musician in some of the world's most illustrious venues-Musikverein in Vienna, Teatro alla Scala in Milan, La Fenice in Venice, Wigmore Hall in London, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Berlin Philharmonie, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, as well as in the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire in Moscow and the Ishibashi Memorial Hall in Tokyo. He has participated in numerous international festivals such as Salzburger Festspiele, Gidon Kremer's Lockenhaus Festival, Wiener Festwochen, Besançon, Washington, Spoleto, Naples, Stresa, Bregenzer Festspiele, Sviatoslav Richter Winter Festival in Moscow, and Verbier Festival in Switzerland. His chamber music partners have included illustrious musicians as L. Leonskaja, B. Berezovsky, E. Bashkirova, L. O. Andsnes, J. Rachlin, N. Znaider, M. Vengerov, D. Sitkovetsky, R. Capuçon, J. Bashmet, G. Caussé, N. Imai, B. Pergamenschikow, S. Isserlis, G. Capuçon, V. Hagen (Hagen Quartet), H. Beyerle, T. Kakuska, V. Erben (Alban Berg Quartet) and M. Kopelman (Borodin Quartet).
Both as a soloist and chamber musician, Boris Kuschnir has made numerous recordings, most notably the complete Mozart piano trios (EMI) and Schumann's complete works for piano trio (Naxos).
In 1999, he was awarded the title "Professor" by the Austrian Federal President Dr. Thomas Klestil.
Boris Kuschnir plays a violin made by Antonio Stradivari, Cremone, 1703, the "La Rouse-Boughton", which was given to him on loan by the Austrian National Bank in 1991 in recognition of his artistic performance and his service rendered to music.