Boris Kuschnir was born into a musical family in Kiev in 1948. He studied violin with Boris Belenky at the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatory 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 in 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, where he played 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 in Graz in 1999. His reputation as a teacher won international recognition due to outstanding success of his pupils, Julian Rachlin, Nikolaj Znaider, and Aleksey Igudesman.
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, 5 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 Yerevan and the Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition. 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.
1999 the Austrian President Dr. Thomas Klestil awarded Kuschnir with the official title "Professor". In 2008 the President of the Republic of Austria Dr. Heinz Fischer awarded 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 Kuschnir in December 2014.
Kuschnir plays a violin by Antonio Stradivari.