Sunday, November 16, 2014

Boris Kuschnir

Boris Kuschnir is a Russian violinist and teacher born (in Kiev, Ukraine) on October 28, 1948.  More than anything, he is known as a violin pedagogue and chamber music player.  Several of his students play in the Vienna Philharmonic and some have international careers as soloists.  Just as Arthur Hartmann and Tivadar Nachez knew so many of the musical luminaries in their day, Kuschnir does in his own time.  As far as violinists go, Kuschnir’s website is probably the most comprehensive on the internet.  I don’t know at what age he began his violin studies but, as a young man, he studied with Boris Belenky and Valentin Berlinsky at the Moscow Conservatory.  He also studied with David Oistrakh.  In 1970, he founded the Moscow String Quartet.  He was 22 years old.  In 1981, he left Russia and settled in Austria, where one of his first jobs was playing concertmaster of the Bruckner Orchestra in Linz (about 110 miles west of Vienna.)  In 1984 he began teaching at the Vienna Conservatory.  He was 35 years old.  That same year, he founded the Vienna Schubert Trio (1985-1993, with Claus Schuster on piano and Martin Hornstein on cello.)  In 1993, he founded the Vienna Brahms Trio with Orfeo Mandozzi (cello) and Jasminka Stancul (piano.)  The trio is probably still active.  He co-founded the Kopelman Quartet in 2002.  This group is interesting because the first violinist lives in New York, the second violinist lives in Vienna, and the violist and cellist live (in different cities) in Spain.  Here’s a YouTube video of the quartet playing (in Cyprus) the eighth string quartet of Dmitri Shostakovich.  In addition to judging at many violin competitions around the world, Kuschnir also plays at music festivals far and wide, including the Spoleto, the Verbier, and the Salzburg Festivals.  His best known pupils are probably Alexandra Soumm, Julian Rachlin, Nicolas Znaider, and Lidia Baich.   There are many YouTube videos of Kuschnir in performance.  Here is one of them.  Since 1991, Kuschnir has been playing a Stradivarius from 1698 (or 1703, according to several sources) nicknamed La Rouse Boughton.  

2 comments:

  1. http://thenewviolinist.blogspot.com/

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  2. I do not usually follow up with any violinists but it is possible Kuschnir may have moved to Dresden. One of his pupils there is Maria Duenas Fernandez, a brilliant young (14-year-old) Spanish violinist.

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