Biography

What a gif­ted viol­in­ist! Won­der­ful sound, very vir­tu­oso, strong and well coordin­ated fin­gers and very good music­al struc­ture as a whole!
Dav­id Ois­trakh

Bor­is Kuschnir is one of the most excel­lent teach­ers who brought up world-fam­ous per­formers. Kuschnir has his own fant­ast­ic tal­ent in edu­ca­tion and his con­tri­bu­tion could be com­pared to those of Leo­pold Auer, Carl Flesch or Ivan Galami­an who formed own viol­in per­form­ing schools. Kuschnir adap­ted his cre­at­ive edu­ca­tion­al sys­tem and pro­duced many emin­ent soloists…
Strad Magazine

Bor­is Kuschnir was born into a music fam­ily in Kiev in 1948. He stud­ied viol­in with Bor­is Belen­ky at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Con­ser­vatoire and cham­ber music with Valentin Ber­l­in­sky of the Borod­in Quar­tet.

His many encoun­ters with Dmitri Shos­takovich (work­ing on his last quar­tets) and Dav­id Ois­trakh, with whom he also stud­ied, had a last­ing influ­ence on his artist­ic devel­op­ment. His career star­ted 1969 when he was one of the three win­ners of the Allunions-Com­pet­i­tion in Len­in­grad where, in the final, he per­formed the Beeth­oven Viol­in Con­certo with the Len­in­grad Sym­phony Orches­tra under the bat­on of Yuri Temirkan­ov.

He has won numer­ous prizes at inter­na­tion­al viol­in and cham­ber music com­pet­i­tions (Par­is, Bel­grade, Sion, Trapani, Brat­is­lava, Florence, Trieste, Gor­iz­ia, Ham­burg, Ver­celli). In 1970 he foun­ded the Moscow String Quar­tet and remained a mem­ber until 1979.

Since 1981 he has been liv­ing in Aus­tria. He became an Aus­tri­an cit­izen in 1982 and was the first con­cert­mas­ter of the Bruck­ner Orches­tra in Linz until 1983. In 1984, he became a Pro­fess­or at the Music and Arts Uni­ver­sity of the City of Vienna and also a dis­tin­guished Pro­fess­or at the Uni­ver­sity of Music in Graz in 1999. His repu­ta­tion as a teach­er won inter­na­tion­al recog­ni­tion with the recent out­stand­ing suc­cess of his pupils, Juli­an Rach­lin (1st Prize Euro­vi­sion Grand Prix for Young Musi­cians, Ams­ter­dam 1988), Nikolaj Znaid­er (1st Prize of the Queen Elisa­beth Com­pet­i­tion, Brus­sels 1997), Sergey Dogad­in (1st Prize of the Joseph Joachim Inter­na­tion­al Viol­in Com­pet­i­tion, Han­nov­er 2015 and Grand Prix of the Yuri Yankele­vich Inter­na­tion­al Viol­in Com­pet­i­tion in Omsk, Rus­sia 2013, 2nd Prize of the Isaac Stern Inter­na­tion­al Viol­in Com­pet­i­tion, Shang­hai 2016), Pavel Mily­ukov (3rd Prize Inter­na­tion­al Tchaikovsky Com­pet­i­tion, Moscow 2015, 1st Prize Aram Khachaturi­an Inter­na­tion­al Com­pet­i­tion, 2012, 2nd Prize Seoul Inter­na­tion­al Music Com­pet­i­tion, 2012), Lidia Baich (1st Prize Euro­vi­sion Grand Prix for Young Musi­cians, Vienna 1998), Dalibor Kar­vay (1st Prize Euro­vi­sion Grand Prix for Young Musi­cians, Ber­lin 2002; 1. Prize Inter­na­tion­al Tibor Varga Com­pet­i­tion, Switzer­land 2003; 1st Prize Dav­id Ois­trakh Com­pet­i­tion, Moscow 2008), Alex­an­dra Sou­mm (1st Prize Euro­vi­sion Grand Prix for Young Musi­cians, Lucerne 2004), Lorenzo Gatto (2nd Prize Queen Eliza­beth Com­pet­i­tion, Brus­sels 2009), Eugene Chep­ovet­sky (2nd Prize Dav­id Ois­trakh Inter­na­tional Com­pet­i­tion, Moscow 2008 and 3rd Prize Louis Spohr Com­pet­i­tion, Wei­mar 2013), Yuuki Wong (2nd Prize Michael Hill Inter­na­tion­al Viol­in Com­pet­i­tion, New Zea­l­and 2007), Julia Turnovsky (3rd Prize Dav­id Ois­trakh Inter­na­tional Com­pet­i­tion, Moscow 2008) and Aleksey Igudes­man (Igudes­man & Joo).

In addi­tion to this he edu­cated more than 40 laur­eates of nation­al and inter­na­tion­al com­pet­i­tions, his pupils have been appoin­ted Pro­fess­ors at Uni­ver­sit­ies, play­ing in vari­ous cham­ber music ensembles and orches­tras of the world – 6 of his stu­dents play at the Vienna Phil­har­mon­ics.

At the same time he con­stantly gives mas­ter­classes at renowned academies like the Ver­bi­er Fest­iv­al Academy and Kron­berg Academy and is a jury mem­ber of vari­ous inter­na­tion­al music com­pet­i­tions such as Queen Eliza­beth Com­pet­i­tion in Brus­sels, Tchaikovsky Com­pet­i­tion in Moscow, the Inter­na­tion­al Viol­in Com­pet­i­tion of Indi­ana­pol­is, Nic­colò Paganini Com­pet­i­tion in Gen­ua, the Jacques Thibaud Com­pet­i­tion in Par­is, Joseph Joachim Com­pet­i­tion in Han­nov­er, Tibor Varga Com­pet­i­tion in Switzer­land, Michael Hill Com­pet­i­tion in New Zea­l­and, Euro­vi­sion Com­pet­i­tion, Dav­id Ois­trakh Com­pet­i­tion in Moscow, Pablo de Sarasate Com­pet­i­tion in Pamplona, George Enes­cu Com­pet­i­tion in Bucharest, Seoul Inter­na­tion­al Music Com­pet­i­tion, Viol­in Mas­ters in Monte Carlo, ARD Inter­na­tion­al Music Com­pet­i­tion in Munich, Louis Spohr Com­pet­i­tion in Wei­mar, Andrea Postac­chini Inter­na­tion­al Viol­in Com­pet­i­tion in Fermo, Aram Khachaturi­an Inter­na­tion­al Com­pet­i­tion in Jere­wan, the Yankele­vitch Inter­na­tion­al Viol­in Com­pet­i­tion in Omsk and the Mel­bourne Inter­na­tion­al Cham­ber Music Com­pet­i­tion.

In 1984 Bor­is Kuschnir foun­ded the Wien­er Schubert Trio which received many pres­ti­gi­ous awards, among them the 1. Prize at the inter­na­tion­al Cham­ber Music Com­pet­i­tion Ser­gio Loren­zi in Trieste, Italy with Sandor Vegh as pres­id­ent of the jury, the Moz­art Inter­pret­a­tion­spre­is 1988 in Vienna and the Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Found­a­tion 1990. Bor­is Kuschnir played as a soloist and a cham­ber musi­cian in some of the world’s most illus­tri­ous ven­ues: Wien­er Musik­ver­ein, Teatro alla Scala in Mil­an, La Fenice in Venice, the Wig­more Hall Lon­don, the Con­cer­t­ge­bouw in Ams­ter­dam, the Ber­lin Phil­har­mon­ic Hall, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in Par­is, as well as in the Hall of the Tchaikovsky Con­ser­vatoire Moscow, the Ishi­bashi Memori­al Hall and the Sun­tory Hall in Tokyo. He has taken part in numer­ous fest­ivals such as Salzburg Fest­iv­al, Gidon Kremer’s Lock­en­haus Fest­iv­al, Vienna Fest­iv­al, Bes­ançon, Wah­ing­ton, Spo­leto, Naples, Stresa, Bre­genz Fest­iv­al, Mecklen­burg-Vor­pom­men, Decem­ber Even­ing (Swi­atoslaw Richter Win­ter­fest­iv­al) – Moscow, White Nights – St. Peters­burg, Juli­an Rach­lin & Friends Fest­iv­al – Dubrovnik, Ver­bi­er Fest­iv­al – Switzer­land.

Bor­is Kuschnir appears with such illus­tri­ous part­ners as Elisa­beth Leon­skaja, Bor­is Bere­zovsky, Leif Ove Andsnes, Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Itamar Golan, Stefan Vladar, Elena Bashkirova, Juli­an Rach­lin, Nikolaj Znaid­er, Max­im Ven­ger­ov, Dmitry Sitkovet­sky, Renaud Capu­con, Dav­id Gar­rett, Yuri Bash­met, Gérard Caussé, Nobuko Imai, Lawrence Power, Ver­onika Hagen, Dav­id Car­penter, Ant­oine Tamestit, Mis­cha Maisky, Bor­is Perga­menschikow, Nat­alia Gut­man, Miklós Per­ényi, Steven Isser­l­is, Gau­ti­er Cap­uçon, Sol Gabetta, Gary Hoff­mann, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Ivan Moni­ghetti and Hatto Bey­erle, Thomas Kak­uska, Valentin Erben of Alban Berg Quar­tet. Both as soloist and cham­ber musi­cian Bor­is Kuschnir made numer­ous record­ings, not­ably the com­plete Moz­art piano tri­os for EMI, which were released in the Moz­art year 1991.

1991 he was giv­en a viol­in made by Ant­o­nio Stra­di­vari as a loan by Aus­tri­an Nation­al Bank in recog­ni­tion of his artist­ic per­form­ance and his ser­vice rendered to music.

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. He was co-founder of the Kopel­man Quar­tet in 2002 with which he is giv­ing con­certs all over the world since and has released CDs at Nim­bus Records and Wig­more Hall Live.

1999 the Aus­tri­an Pres­id­ent Dr. Thomas Klestil awar­ded Bor­is Kuschnir with the offi­cial title „Pro­fess­or“. In 2008 the Pres­id­ent of the Repub­lic of Aus­tria Dr. Heinz Fisc­her awar­ded Bor­is Kuschnir with the “Grand Dec­or­a­tion of Hon­our in Sil­ver for Ser­vices to the Repub­lic of Aus­tria” and in 2013 with the “Aus­tri­an Cross of Hon­our for Sci­ence and the Arts, First Class”.

The Pres­id­ent of the Cent­ral Con­ser­vat­ory of Music in Beijing Wang Cizhao awar­ded the cer­ti­fic­ate of Hon­or­ary Pro­fess­or­ship to Bor­is Kuschnir in Decem­ber 2014.