The most popular solo and chamber music violinist, Tokunaga also has taken the position of the Music Director of Miyazaki International Music Festival as well as the Chamber Music Series at JT Art Hall. He is one of the leading figures on Japanese classical music scene.
Studied with his father and Saburo Sumi, then with Hideo Saito at Toho Gakuen School of Music. He became the youngest concertmaster ever of Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in 1966. In 1968, he went to Berlin to study with Michel Schwalbe under the support of Agency for Cultural Affairs in Japan. In 1976, Tokunaga took up the position of a concertmaster with NHK Symphony Orchestra, and since then, he had been the most well-known representative of this orchestra for many years as a principal concertmaster and later as a solo-concertmaster.
While he had been playing with the NHK Symphony Orchestra, he also performed numerous recitals and concertos in America and many European countries including the Contemporary Music Festival in Koln, the opening concert at Japanese-German Centre Berlin with Wolfgang Sawallisch (piano) and the chamber music concert at Carnegie Hall, all of which won the highest praise.
Tokunaga left the NHK Symphony Orchestra in 1994 and has been dedicating himself to solo and chamber music. He has been the Music Director of JT Art Hall since 1995. He had also been nominated to the General Producer of the Miyazaki International Music Festival in 1996, and has been the Music Director of this festival since 2011. Those positions prove that he has established the most important position in the chamber music field in Japan.
His solo engagements with a number of world's leading orchestras have included the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra.
Since 2008, he has played a series of annual recital titled <Tsugio Tokunaga's challenge>, which will continue till 2018.
He has released many discs from FONTEC including Brahms: Violin Sonatas (Kei Ito, piano), Beethoven: Complete Violin Sonatas which compiled his 35 year of musical activity and Paganini: Caprices.
Tokunaga is a Professor at Kunitachi College of Music, Toho Gakuen School of Music and Senzoku Gakuen College of Music.