Known for her sensitive command of timbral color, her singing lyricism, and striking style, pianist Tuyen Tonnu has graced the world's stages with solo and chamber music concerts from the U.S. to Asia and Europe.
As a champion of new music, Tonnu's performances have garnered praise for their powerful and insightful interpretations. Her collaborations have included premieres and works by Tristan Murail, Hans Otte, Sheila Silver, Libby Larsen, Jeffrey Mumford, Martha Horst, Lukas Ligeti, and Steven Rosenhaus, among others. For the past two decades, she has been the foremost interpreter of the music of the late Egyptian-American composer Halim El-Dabh. She was one of ten musicians selected from the U.S. to perform in Alexandria, Egypt for the inauguration of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. El-Dabh's first piano concerto, which was composed for and dedicated to her, was the first of many great collaborations to follow.
As a consummate chamber musician, Tonnu has shared the stage with the Escher String Quartet at the Emerson String Quartet International Chamber Music Festival. In collaboration with the Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, she has premiered works by Richard Wernick and Lukas Ligeti under the direction of Gilbert Kalish and Eduardo Leandro.
Other notable performances included the U.S. premiere of Roque Cordero Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor with the Texas Christian University Symphony Orchestra and the world premiere of Martha Horst Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Illinois State University Symphony Orchestra.
In September 2020, Tonnu's recording of Roque Cordero's complete solo piano works was released by Albany Records.
Dr. Tonnu is Associate Professor of Piano at Illinois State University.
235.001Applied Music (Advanced Piano)
135.001Applied Music (Piano)
440.001Applied Piano Accompanying