Mr. Colin Belisle

Violin, Viola Teacher

Colin Belisle

SAA Member


Honolulu, HI
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Colin Belisle currently lives in Honolulu where he is a member of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra (formerly the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra) and the violist of The Galliard String Quartet with Chamber Music Hawaii. He is on faculty at both the ‘Iolani School and Punahou School in Honolulu, HI. In the Summer he teaches at the Pacific Music Institute, which partners with National Orchestra Institute, where he is on faculty for the core orchestra program, as well as the solo and string quartet program.

Colin Belisle studied at the Royal College of Music in London, and received both his Master of Music degree and Graduate Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music, and his Bachelor of Music degree from Lawrence University Conservatory of Music. His teachers include Carol Rodland, Matthew Michelic, Kim Kashkashian, Ed Gazouleas, and Simon-Rowland Jones. As a registered Suzuki™ teacher, he studied with Sherry Cadow, Cathy Lee, Ellie Albers LeRoux, Nancy Lokken, Allen Lieb, and Ann Montzka-Smelser.

In addition to playing in Hawaii, he has performed regularly with New World Symphony in Miami, Portland Symphony, Rhode Island Symphony, and Green Bay Symphony. He was a Fellowship recipient at Aspen Music Festival and School, where he was a member of the Festival Orchestra, and Principal Viola of both The Academy Orchestra and Sinfonia. He also regularly participated at Banff and Bowdoin festivals, and National Orchestral Institute and Festival, among others. He has been coached by members of the Cleveland, Cavani, Fine Arts, Muir, and Borromeo quartets, and performed in professional chamber ensembles with members of Lincoln Center Chamber Players, Borromeo, Cassatt, New Hellenic, Pro Arte, Bryant Park, and Turtle Island string quartets. As a chamber musician and soloist he has performed in Jordan Hall, Symphony Space, Merkin Concert Hall, and Carnegie Hall. He has also been a guest artist at Boston Conservatory and The Juilliard School; and artist-in-residence at UH Manoa, Bennington College, Denison University, and the University of New England. Since 2013 he has been on the orchestral and chamber music faculty at the Pacific Music Institute.

He has had the privilege of performing the world-premiere of Augusta Read-Thomas’ Incantation for solo viola, as well as premiering works by Michael Gandolfi, Kenji Bunch, Martin Bresnick, Mohammed Fairouz, Pozzi Escot, Anthony DeRitis, Halim El-Dabh and Jennifer Higdon. He has recorded works of the Pulitzer-Prize-winning composer, Yehudi Wyner, on his album De Novo, which is available on Naxos and Albany labels. He has performed in recital numerous works of Schnittke, Penderecki, Kurtàg, Ligeti, Pärt, and Takemitsu. As a recording musician, he has worked with legendary artists in classical, jazz, and contemporary music, and has recorded soundtracks to films that have appeared at the Cannes and Vienna film festivals, as well as HBO and Lifetime Networks. He has also appeared on Hawaii Five-O with his other quartet, Manoa Strings.

Many of his students participate in school orchestras, chamber music programs, HMTA and MTNA competitions, ASTA Solo and Ensemble, and Hawaii Youth Symphony programs. They have attended Suzuki Institutes in Hawaii and on the mainland; as well as Pacific Music Institute, Meadowmount, Interlochen, Aspen, Bowdoin, and Tanglewood summer music programs. Graduates of his studio have been ‘Iolani concerto competition winners and HMTA state competition winners; and select students have continued on to study Violin or Viola performance at USC, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Indiana University (Jacobs School of Music), and Eastman School of Music.

Mr. Belisle is the Vice President-Elect of the Hawaii Music Teachers Association (HMTA), a member of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), Music Teachers National Association (MTNA); and is also a registered teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) and Suzuki Association of Hawaii (SAH).