Machi Tonaka was born in Japan. At the age of thirteen, she obtained a diploma in piano and in music theory pedagogy. In the prestigious Yamaha music composition competitions, she was awarded both a 1st prize and a special prize for her entries.
At the University of Arts in Osaka she discovered the organ and graduated with a soloist diploma on that instrument. Her training as an organist continued in 1996 at the Geneva Conservatory of Music under the tutelage of Lionel Rogg.
Machi received her teaching diploma in 1998 and in 2001 was the recipient of: First Prize for Organ Virtuosity with distinction, and the Otto Barblan Prize.
Her training was completed in 2002 with a post graduate year of organ virtuosity training under the tutelage of Lionel Rogg. She also attended master classes with internationally renowned organists such as, Marie-Claire Alain and Olivier Latry,
In that same year she was named laureate of the 20th Swiss Organ Competition.
At present, Machi Tonaka is co-titular organist at the Basilica of Notre-Dame and at the Church of St. Joseph in Geneva.
She is also titular organist at the church in Vernier. As a pianist, she accompanies ballet classes at the Geneva Conservatoire Populaire.