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Tonya Burton


Grammy-nominated 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 debut solo album won a 2022 Wammie award for “Best Classical Song.” 

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 album recently debuted as number one on the Billboard Traditional Classical Albums chart in 2023. Burton 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. Additionally, she frequently performs with groups around the United States, including Musiqa, Aperio, Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Kaleidoscope Chamber Orchestra, and is an Affiliate Artist with the Apollo Chamber Players.  

Passionate about community engagement, Burton served as the Artist in Residence for the Collington Community from 2020-2021, worked with Vijay Gupta’s Street Symphony on Skid Row, and has also directed City Music Kidz, a music program for low-income families in Cleveland.  Burton is currently a professor at Sam Houston State University, maintains a thriving home studio, and gives frequent masterclasses in the greater Houston area.

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.

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