Time Out Chicago


Chicago Tribune

“…elusive and inscrutable, which probably is the right way to go…”

Denver Post

“Dave Belden, playing John, is an actor as well as a violinist. It’s a rather rarefied skill set, and he does both quite well here.”

I first acted at age 6 in a community theatre production of Fiddler on the Roof. I continued in elementary school, junior high, and high school (where I played Emile de Becque in South Pacific). After college I studied improv for a year at Player's Workshop of the Second City, went to Oxford to study Shakespeare, and have trained at the Piven Theatre Workshop, with the fantastic Susan Hart & Jeffrey Carlson, and at various other schools.

I've also been a freelance violinist & violist around Chicago since graduating from Northwestern University in 1992, playing regularly with the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Joffrey Ballet. I spent two summers at Interlochen, and three summers at Joseph Fuchs' Alfred University Summer Chamber Music Institute. I studied with Myron Kartman at Northwestern, where I also co-founded the Ad Hoc String Quartet with Paul Vanderwerf (and at least 6 other musicians at various points).

Filmmaking crept in there, too, because my friend Chris had a nice camera and we started shooting. Most of our films were connected with Split Pillow, where I also had the pleasure of working regularly with my wife, Mary-Terese Cozzola, who is a fantastic writer, story-teller, and director. Our film Eye of the Sandman is available at Amazon and on Netflix (she wrote it and co-directed; I play the evil and mysterious Dr. Spalanzani).

I mostly grew up in Alaska. My family moved to Anchorage in 1978 when I was 8. Our previous home had been Denton, Texas, and prior to that several small Kansas towns where my parents taught music. My dad was Associate Professor of Music Theory & Composition at the University of Alaska Anchorage, where my mom taught voice.