Moods & Modes



Ep. 27

A member of the New York Philharmonic’s first violin section since 2001, Yulia Ziskel, who holds The Friends and Patrons Chair, has established herself as a highly acclaimed solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. She has been praised by The Strad Magazine for “the sweetness of her sound.” This week, she joins Alex to discuss her upbringing in Russia, the evolution of her career, and the intersection of classical, rock, and metal. The two discuss classical pieces that have been translated into modern music, and Ziskel shares some musical influences that may surprise you.

Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, Yulia Ziskel began her musical training on the violin and piano at the age of four. She made her solo debut at age seven at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall and at age twelve was a soloist with St. Petersburg Chamber Orchestra. As a teenager she toured extensively, appearing in solo recitals throughout Russia, Germany, Finland, Poland, and the United States. In 1994 Ms. Ziskel’s family immigrated to the United States, where she completed her bachelor of music degree at Indiana University and later received her master’s degree from The Juilliard School. 

Listen to music from the episode here.

Moods & Modes is presented by Osiris Media. Hosted and Produced by Alex Skolnick. Osiris Production by Kirsten Cluthe and Brad Stratton. Editing and mixing by Justin Thomas (Revoice Media). Music by Alex Skolnick. Artwork by Mark Dowd. If you like what you hear, please share, rate, review & subscribe!

Visit and use the promo code MODES for 20% off premium CBD products.

Visit to learn more about unique music summer camps and events.

More Episodes


The Vault of Les Paul

Ep. 30
Les Paul was an inventor, an award-winning musician, an innovator and a creative genius. In this episode, Alex pays tribute by taking us on a journey through the life of Les Paul - his music, his inventions, and the recent recovery of one of his missing Gibson Les Paul prototypes.Alex visits Mahwah, NJ with Benny Goodman, host of The Neurotic Guitarist, and musician Ron “Bumblefoot” Thal, where they meet Jim Wysocki, mayor of Mahwah and longtime friend of Les Paul. Jim - a former police officer who befriended Paul in the early 80s - invites the group into his home, containing a vault of items that Les left behind, including instruments, journals, hand-wound pickups, memorabilia and more. The group also visits theLes Paul exhibit at the Mahwah Museum, home to select vintage guitars, artifacts and musical relics of Les’s. Mayor Jim shares incrediblestories about his time with Les Paul and helps identify Les’s long lost G5 prototype. Alex and Ron jam on Les’s personal guitars in the museum, some of which are available for visitors to play.Les Paul was best known as a skilled guitarist, and as one of the most important figures in the development of modern electric instruments and recording techniques. He was a pioneer in the development of the solid-body electric guitar (the Gibson Les Paul, which he helped design, is one of the most famous and enduring models), multitrack recording, and various reverb and echo effects.You can also see a video of their visit on The Neurotic Guitarist.Moods & Modes is presented byOsiris Media. Hosted and Produced by Alex Skolnick. Osiris Production by Kirsten Cluthe and Matt Dwyer. Editing and mixing by Matt Dwyer. Music by Alex Skolnick. Artwork by Mark Dowd.

Best of Moods & Modes: Peter Green, Part 2

Ep. 4
At the tail end of the 60s, an unlikely meeting took place in Chicago between some prominent traditional blues artists and a chart-topping rock band from the UK. The results would reverberate for decades to come. In this episode, you’ll hear a discussion on the importance of this session along with further insights into the impact of the late, great Peter Green with guests Dave Rubin (author of Guitar Method) and Andy Aledort (Guitar Magazine).Peter Green was a British blues rock guitarist and composer. As the founder ofFleetwood Mac, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Green founded Fleetwood Mac in 1967 after a stint in John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers and quickly established the new band as a popular live act in addition to a successful recording act, before departing in 1970. Green’s songs, such as “Albatross”, “Black Magic Woman”, “Oh Well”, “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)” and “Man of the World”, appeared on singles charts, and have been adapted by a variety of musicians. Green was a major figure in the “second great epoch” of the British blues movement. Eric Clapton praised his guitar playing, and B.B. King commented, “He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.” His trademark sound included string bending, vibrato, and economy of style.In 2015, Rolling Stone ranked him at number 58 in its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.Moods & Modes is presented byOsiris Media. Hosted and Produced by Alex Skolnick. Osiris Production by Kirsten Cluthe and Matt Dwyer. Editing and mixing by Matt Dwyer. Music by Alex Skolnick. Artwork by Mark Dowd.