It’s 1984. Nalchik. A tiny town in the mountains of Caucasus.

You are at music school. Tiny classroom with white walls and a ceiling covered with sound absorbing panels.

“Dima, so… Your schooling with me has come to an end. You need to continue your studies with the best violin professor in St.Petersburg. What would you say?”

My throat was sore, I couldn’t speak.

On one hand, I knew, another teacher was inevitable. On the other hand, I felt sad about my schooling with Semyon Ziskind, my musical father, coming to an end. That was eight amazing years! How would you feel?

“Yes, Semyon Grigorievich…”

Then came a long travel across entire Russia. Summer 1985. It’s a three hours bus ride to the airport and then three hours flight. Or 42 hours by train.

From the south to the north. Student and teacher traveling together.

In St.Petersburg legendary teachers teach their legendary secrets within the walls of legendary institutions in that legendary misty city with splendid facades and grim backyards, where there is history in everything and lots of fuss is also made about that history.

I think, besides being my musical father Semyon Ziskind has taught another lesson: travel to learn from the best, even if that means flying 10.000km, even if it’s London or México or the Caribbean. No excuses. Are you also continuously learning, specially because the world is changing ever faster, or are you making excuses you have no time, or no money, or no teachers in your neighborhood etc etc?

41 years of amazing relationship!

Meeting at my home in The Hague.


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