Gas turbine combustors are prone to undesirable combustion dynamics in the form of thermoacoustic oscillations. Analysis of the stability of thermoacoustic systems in the frequency domain leads to nonlinear eigenvalue problems; here, ‘nonlinear’ refers to the fact that the eigenvalue, the complex oscillation frequency, appears in a nonlinear fashion. In this paper, we employ a non-iterative strategy based on contour integration in the complex eigenvalue plane, which returns all eigenvalues inside the contour. An introduction to the technique is given, and is complemented with guidelines for the specific application to thermoacoustic problems. Two prototypical nonlinear eigenvalue problems are considered: a network model of the classical Rijke tube with an analytic flame response model and a finite element discretization of an annular model combustor with an experimental flame transfer function. Computation of all eigenvalues in a domain of interest is vital to assess stability of these systems. We demonstrate that this is generally challenging for iterative strategies. An eigenvalue solver based on contour integration, in contrast, provides a reliable, non-iterative method to achieve this goal.

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