Mr. Colin Belisle

Violin, Viola Teacher

Colin Belisle

SAA Member


San Francisco, CA
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Colin Belisle currently lives in San Francisco, performing and teaching throughout the Bay Area. He is a tenured member of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra and regular substitute violist with the San Francisco Symphony and San Francisco Opera. He was the violist of the Galliard String Quartet. 

Colin studied at The Royal College of Music in London, and holds both a Master of Music degree and Graduate Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music, as well as a Bachelor of Music degree from Lawrence University. Orchestral engagements outside of Hawaii Symphony have been with New World Symphony in Miami, San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, Oakland Symphony, Portland Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Boston Ballet, among others. He has performed chamber music in such esteemed venues as New York City’s Carnegie Hall, Merkin Hall, Symphony Space, Boston’s Jordan Hall. He has performed with Ebb and Flow Arts on Maui, Pacific International Concert Artists, and has collaborated professionally with John Kimura Parker, Joyce Yang, and members of the Lincoln Center Chamber Players, Borromeo, Cassatt, Pro Arte, and Turtle Island string quartets. He’s been a fellowship recipient and Principal Viola at Aspen Music Festival and School, as well as attended Banff Centre for the Arts, Bowdoin International Music Festival, and National Orchestral Institute, among others. His most influential teachers were Carol Rodland, Matthew Michelic, Simon Rowland-Jones, Kim Kashkashian, and Karen Tuttle. 

Colin has played in Mimesis Ensemble in New York City, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, and Hawaii’s Ebb and Flow Arts Ensemble, where he performed as soloist and chamber musician. He has performed the world-premiere of Augusta Read-Thomas’ Incantation for solo viola ​in 2006, as well as recording her Rainbow Bridge to Paradise in 2022. Additionally he’s premiered works by Michael Gandolfi, Kenji Bunch, Martin Bresnick, Mohammed Fairouz, Pozzi Escot, Anthony DeRitis, Halim El-Dabh and Jennifer Higdon. He has also recorded with Ibis Camerata on their album Commedia.

A passionate and dedicated teacher, he has been a string clinician at San Francisco Conservatory, and Artist-in-Residence at Bennington College, Denison University, and University of Hawaii in Manoa. Additionally, he has taught elementary to pre-college ages while being String Faculty, Beginning Orchestra, and Suzuki Program Director at the I‘olani School, as well as Upper Strings and Chamber Music Faculty at Punahou School. From 2013-2020 he was on faculty at Pacific Music Institute’s Solo and String Quartet Program, a partnering program with National Orchestral Institute + Festival. His students have attended esteemed festivals such as National Orchestral Institute, ENCORE, Meadowmount, Interlochen, Aspen, Bowdoin, and Tanglewood Institute. They have played in master classes for Ray Chen, Jinjoo Cho, Augustin Hadelich, Bella Hristova, Cavani Quartet, Dover Quartet, Midori, Eric Siberger, and Victor Yampolsky.

Also a classically trained singer in opera, Colin has studied with Joanne Bozeman at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, and Damien Francoeur-Krzyzek at New England Conservatory of Music.