Mr. Colin Belisle

Violin, Viola Teacher

Colin Belisle

SAA Member


San Francisco, CA
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Colin Belisle currently lives and teaches in San Francisco, CA. Prior to his recent move to San Francisco, he was the Director of the Suzuki Program at the ‘Iolani School in Honolulu, as well as faculty and chamber music coach at Punahou School. From 2013-2020 he taught at the Pacific Music Institute, which partners with National Orchestra Institute, where he was on faculty for the core orchestra program, as well as the solo and string quartet program, before relocating to California. He is a tenured member of the Hawaii Symphony, regularly performs as a substitute viola with the San Francisco Symphony, and plays with numerous professional ensembles in the Bay Area.

Colin Belisle studied at the Royal College of Music in London, and received both his M.M. Degree and Graduate Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music, and his B.M. 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, his teaching was influenced by Sherry Cadow, Cathryn Lee, Ellie Albers LeRoux, Allen Lieb, Nancy Jackson, and Ann Montzka-Smelser.

Many of his students have attended Suzuki Institutes throughout the country; as well as NOI, ENCORE, Meadowmount, Interlochen, Aspen, Bowdoin, and Tanglewood summer music programs. His students have played in master classes for Ray Chen, Jinjoo Cho, Augustin Hadelich, Bella Hristova, Cavani Quartet, Dover Quartet, Midori, Eric Siberger, and Victor Yampolsky.

Mr. Belisle has over the years served as both Director and Treasurer for the Hawaii Music Teachers Association (HMTA), and is member of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), and also a registered teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA).

He has performed in professional chamber ensembles with members of Lincoln Center Chamber Players, John Kimura Parker, Joyce Yang, Borromeo, Cassatt, Cavani, Pro Arte, 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.

He has had the privilege of performing the world-premiere of Augusta Read-Thomas’ Incantation for solo viola and has also 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 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 CBS’s Hawaii Five-O with his other quartet, Manoa Strings.