Boris Kuschnir was born in Kiev in 1948 and studied the violin at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire with Boris Belenky 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.
Since 1981 he has been living in Austria. He became an Austrian citizen in 1982. He has won numerous prizes at international violin and chamber music competitions.
He was a founder member of the Moscow String Quartet. He has also founded the Vienna Schubert Trio and the Vienna Brahms Trio, and has made numerous recordings for labels including EMI, Naxos and Nimbus Records. Since 2002 he is also member of the Kopelman Quartet.
Mr. Kuschnir is a Professor at the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz and at the Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna. His reputation as a teacher won international recognition with the recent outstanding success of his pupils, Julian Rachlin, Nikolaj Znaider, Alexandra Soumm, Lidia Baich, Dalibor Karvay, Sergei Dogadin, Pavel Milyukov and María Dueñas. Boris Kuschnir appears with such illustrious partners as L. Leonskaja, L. O. Andsnes, J.-Y. Thibaudet, J. Rachlin, N. Znaider, M. Vengerov, D. Sitkovetsky, R. Capucon, J. Bashmet, G. Caussé, N. Imai, L. Power, M. Maisky, B. Pergamenschikow, N. Gutman and S. Isserlis. At the same time, he constantly gives master classes and is a jury member of various international music competitions (such as Queen Elizabeth Competition in Brussels, Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, International Joseph Joachim Violin Competition, Niccolo Paganini Competition in Genua, Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris, Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, Singapore International Violin Competition and others).
In 2008 the President of the Republic of Austria 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”. He plays a violin built by Antonio Stradivari.