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 Konservatorium Wien University 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), 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), Pavel Milyukov (1st Prize Aram Khachaturian International Competition, 2012, 2nd Prize Seoul International Music Competition, 2012), Eugene Chepovetsky (2nd Prize David Oistrakh International Competition, Moscow 2008 and 3rdPrize Louis Spohr Competition, Weimar 2013), Yuuki Wong (2nd Prize Michael Hill International Violin Competition, New Zealand 2007), Julia Turnovsky (3rdPrize David Oistrakh International Competition, Moscow 2008) and Aleksey Igudesman (Igudesman & Joo).
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.
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. 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.