Bor­is Kuschnir


Bor­is Kuschnir was born into a musical 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 its 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 and Performing Arts Graz in 1999. His repu­ta­tion as a teach­er won inter­na­tion­al recog­ni­tion with the recent out­stand­ing suc­cess of his pupils, Juli­an Rach­lin (1st Prize at the Euro­vi­sion Grand Prix for Young Musi­cians, Ams­ter­dam 1988), Nikolaj Znaid­er (1st Prize at the Queen Elisa­beth Com­pet­i­tion, Brus­sels 1997), Sergey Dogad­in (1st Prize at the Joseph Joachim Inter­na­tion­al Viol­in Com­pet­i­tion, Hannov­er 2015, 1st Prize at the Singapore International Violin Competition, 2018, Grand Prix of the Yuri Yankele­vich Inter­na­tion­al Viol­in Com­pet­i­tion in Omsk, Rus­sia 2013, 2nd Prize at the Isaac Stern Inter­na­tion­al Viol­in Competition, Shang­hai 2016), Pavel Mily­ukov (3rd Prize at the Inter­na­tion­al Tchaikovsky Com­pet­i­tion, Moscow 2015, 1st Prize at the Aram Khachaturi­an Internation­al Com­pet­i­tion, 2012, 2nd Prize at the Seoul Inter­na­tion­al Music Competition, 2012), Diana Tishchenko (1st Prize at the Long Thibaud Competition, Paris 2018), Lidia Baich (1st Prize Euro­vi­sion Grand Prix for Young Musi­cians, Vienna 1998), Alexandra Sou­mm (1st Prize at the Euro­vi­sion Grand Prix for Young Musi­cians, Lucerne 2004), Maria Duenas (1st Prize at the Zhuhai International Mozart Competition, 2017 and 1st Prize at the International Vladimir Spivakov Violin Competition, Ufa, 2018), Dalibor Kar­vay (1st Prize at the Euro­vi­sion Grand Prix for Young Musi­cians, Ber­lin 2002; 1st Prize at the Inter­na­tion­al Tibor Varga Com­pet­i­tion, Switzer­land 2003; 1st Prize at the Dav­id Ois­trakh Com­pet­i­tion, Moscow 2008), Lorenzo Gatto (2nd Prize at the Queen Eliza­beth Com­pet­i­tion, Brus­sels 2009), Ondrej Janoska (Janoska Ensemble) 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 – 7 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 Long Thibaud Com­pet­i­tion in Par­is, Joseph Joachim Com­pet­i­tion in Han­nov­er, Singapore International Violin Competition, 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 Yerevan 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 in 1988 in Vienna and the Prize of the Ernst von Siemens Found­a­tion in 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, Verbier Festival, Gidon Kremer’s Lock­en­haus Fest­iv­al, Vienna Fest­iv­al, Bes­ançon, Wash­ing­ton, Spo­leto, Naples, Stresa, Bre­genz Fest­iv­al, Mecklen­burg-Vor­pom­men, Decem­ber Even­ing (Swi­atoslaw Richter Win­ter­fest­iv­al) – Moscow, White Nights – St. Peters­burg, Juli­an Rach­lin & Friends Fest­iv­al – Dubrovnik.

Bor­is Kuschnir has performed with such illus­tri­ous part­ners as Evgeny Kissin, 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. 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 the 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 a co-founder of the Kopel­man Quar­tet in 2002 with which he has been giv­ing con­certs all over the world ever since, and has released CDs with Nimbus Records and Wig­more Hall Live.

In 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.