Tonié has an innovative and progressive approach to performing and hir current focus is mixing classical music genres and styles into queer settings that combine theatre, visual drama, movement and fashion. Gender diversity is a particular point of departure for many of Tonié’s projects and hir recent video project ‘Corpus is Opus’ is due for release in May 2016. Tonié is also collaborating with Kathryn Jamieson, (of Strange Fruit and chief designer of Gunshy Fashion Design) to create unique fashion pieces for performance.
Feminism, gender diversity, trans(gender) and sexuality are central tenets of Tonié’s performing and research outputs.
The Matters of the Body Research Cluster (MOB) at the VCA/MCM of which Tonié is hirself a member, is an ‘activist’ group of researchers and Tonié co-convenes the MOB cluster with Alyson Campell. Tonié is also a strong advocate for the Alexander Technique and this greatly informs hir teaching and every day life. Tonié also has a particular love for fashion design and creations are regularly modeled by hir at performances.
Tonié is an established performer in Australia and is a leading performer on the guitar. Tonié received hir training at the Canberra School of Music with Tim Kain and graduated with 1st Class Honours as ‘Most Outstanding Graduate’ for the Class of 1995. Tonié achieved many accolades including several first prizes in school-wide chamber music competitions and winning 2nd prize twice at the Darwin International Guitar Competition in 1993 and 1995. Sie is a recipient of a Big Brother award which sie used to study in the UK, Tonié has received tuition and/or master classses from many key figures in the guitar world including: Leo Brouwer, John Williams, Manuel Barrueco, Carlo Barone, Stepan Rak and others.
In 1996, Tonié’s debut CD ‘Sunburst – Music of the Americas’ was recorded for Walsingham Classics and nominated for an ARIA in 1997. It was released internationally through Tower Records and has regularly been broadcast on ABC Classic FM since. Tonié has also been broadcast repeatedly (including solo and ensemble) on ABC Classic FM’s flagship live broadcasting program ‘Sunday Live’. In 2003 Tonié also received an ARIA award for ‘Best Classical Album’ as part of the guitar group ‘Saffire’.
In 1998 Tonié took up an appointment as Head of Guitar at the Victorian College of the Arts (now the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music repertoire stream) and since then sie has performed in a wide range of ensembles on the electric and classical guitars including multiple premiers of new works, many live appearances for national ABC radio and several recordings for ABC Classics and one for Naxos Records. As part of the Melbourne Guitar Quartet Tonié performs regularly on bass guitar within the ‘Guitar Family’ concept at the Melbourne Recital Centre. As a soloist Tonié has toured Slovakia, New Zealand and nearly every capital city in Australia.
Tonié is a passionate teacher and cares enormously about cultivating a love of music in hir students. The unique position that the guitar holds in the music scene requires specific skills of initiative, industry know-how, innovation and long lasting motivation, all fuelled by a growing love of playing the instrument. Through an active guitar program at the Melbourne Conservatorium of Music, Tonié ensures that hir students receive the attention they need to become musicians who continue to learn and enjoy their music–making throughout their lives. Some of hir students form the elite of guitar playing in Australia and are finalists in international competitions.