Vienna Deluxe

Boris Kuschnir, born in Kiev and living in Austria for almost three decades, has been brought to Vienna by music. An artist, who speaks the international language of the violin and allows for it to speak to others, and is dedicated to training young talents coming from all over the world in order to be taught by him, who sends the tones of the violin out into the world. Classical music is already an important part of Vienna and yet there is always something more to attain, especially in the area of a musician’s education, explains the violin virtuoso, Professor Kuschnir, during his interview with Vienna Deluxe.

What type of experiences have you made with young talents?

They are filled with motivation and many of them win prizes in national and international competitions due to their abilities. Facilitating such talent should begin in childhood and be broadened, so that the world of music may be opened to many more girls and boys. I hope that there will be many more young talents which will find themselves upon the path of classical music and whom I can guide towards such a path. The violin soloists Julian Rachlin, Nikolaj Znaider and Lidia Baich are some of my students, others are excellent violinists who play at the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, for example. They are wonderful musicians, who make music with their hearts and minds and do not shy away from all the effort and strain resulting from the difficulties of such an education, which is needed to achieve a career as a soloist or a qualitative orchestra musician.

Is Vienna the city of music to you?

Yes, it is, without doubt. Many classical musicians from all over the world are drawn to Vienna to embark on their education, even from Russia, where I myself absolved my violinist education at the so called Russian School, the Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. In Austria itself there are many musical talents, who absolutely require special and individual, one could even say ‘tailored’ support and facilitation. Such talents need attention and caring support from musical institutions but also from school in general, from teachers who offer them the possibility to develop what is hidden inside them and also, and especially when, due to their talent, they are different from their peers.

Music has many positive influences on the human being, not only on those who embark upon a great musical career. This should be paid more attention to. The cuts in public expenditure in the past years, which have fallen in all areas of our life, are especially unfortunate in the area of musical education and have had a very hard impact – of which we will be painfully aware decades to come. Therefore, those responsible should make it clear what the results of too little facilitation in the area of classical music will mean. It would be nice, if classical music in Austria would be put on a par with popular sport in the media.

What does the violin mean to you?

One needs to be at one with ones instrument. Every violin has its own sound, its own story, speaks to you and enchants you if you devote yourself to it. Music has to be felt and when it comes from the heart, those listening can feel this too. Personally, I have had the honour of playing on a violin belonging to the Cremonese master Antonio Stradivari from the year 1703. It is an incredible experience to be able to hold this instrument in your hands, which is more than three hundred years old, to feel its history and its personality and to retrieve its magical sounds. This wonderful violin belongs to the Austrian National Bank which has bought up a fantastic collection of precious string instruments and offers these on loan to Austrian artists. This is fantastic, an excellent example for what facilitation and support should look like and it is available in Austria!

You have played a part in putting together well known ensembles throughout the world, such as the Vienna Brahms Trio, and are now yourself on an international tour with the Kopelman Quartett. Is this a type of equilibrium to you?

It is nice, not only to teach, but also to pass ones passion for music on to an audience, when time allows it. We play in concert halls all over the world, this is incredibly inspiring.

What are you proud of?

Of my students. It fills me with great joy to see how successfully and with how much dedication they bring the art of the violin closer to the people. Personally, I am of course proud of my family and of my two sons. Career wise, I am proud that I do what I love. The awards that I have received for this, such as the title of professor and the great silver symbol of honour for my merits to the Republic of Austria, are wonderful signs for the positive reception of my work in Austria. Of course I am very happy about this. Yet the most important thing to me is that I have journeyed the right path, due to my love for music and the violin. This makes me most happy.

Vienna Deluxe, March 2010

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