Violist, Tonya Burton enjoys a diverse career of both solo and ensemble playing. She recently won third place in the 2023 American Prize for Instrumental Soloists, ‘Best Classical Artist’ in the D.C. Wammie awards, and a track from her solo album won a 2022 Wammie award for ‘Best Classical Song.’ She has performed in major venues across the United States, Canada, China, Switzerland and Italy.
An artistic leader, Burton is a core member of the Kinetic Ensemble, both performing and programming for the Houston based string orchestra known for showcasing diverse, under-represented and newly composed classical music. Kinetic’s recent album debuted as number one on the Billboard Traditional Classical Albums chart in 2023. She also curates and performs with the Monarch Chamber Players, a group dedicated to making high-quality chamber music accessible through free concerts in unique venues across the Houston area. She frequently performs with Musiqa, Aperio, Houston Symphony, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, and is an Affiliate Artist with the Apollo Chamber Players.
Passionate about community engagement, Burton can be found performing at local retirement homes, schools, libraries and hospitals. She currently serves as the Retirement Coordinator for Monarch Chamber Players, and was the Artist in Residence for the Collington Community from 2020-2021. She has worked with Vijay Gupta’s Street Symphony, serving the Skid Row community of Los Angeles and has also directed City Music Kidz, a music program for low-income families in Cleveland.
Burton performs annually at the Caroga Lake Music Festival. Prior summers have been at esteemed festivals such as the Perlman Music Program, Talis Festival in Saas-Fee, Switzerland and Heifetz International Music Institute. She has collaborated with renowned artists including Donald Weilerstein, Jeffrey Irvine, Katherine Murdock, Mark Kosower, Saeunn Thorsteinsdottir, Dimitri Ashkenazy, Richie Hawley and Fabio Di Càsola.
A sought-after educator and clinician, Burton has given masterclasses for Corpus Christi A&M, Kansas State University, Interlochen Center for the Arts, and the Houston Viola Society. Burton currently serves on faculty at Sam Houston State University and maintains a thriving home studio. She received a Master’s in Music from Rice University studying with James Dunham, a Bachelor’s of Music from Cleveland Institute of Music under the tutelage of Jeffrey Irvine, and served as Katherine Murdock’s Teaching Assistant while working on her Doctorate at the University of Maryland.