A solution to the full two-dimensional eigenvalue problem of electrostatic microinstabilities in a tokamak plasma is presented in the framework of gyrokinetic theory. The approach is the generalization of methods previously developed for a cylindrical system [S. Brunner and J. Vaclavik, Phys. Plasmas 5, 365 (1998)]. By solving the spectral problem in a special Fourier space adapted to the curved geometry, orbit width as well as Larmor radius can be kept to all orders. For a first numerical implementation, a large aspect ratio plasma with circular concentric magnetic surfaces is considered. A root finding algorithm for identifying the eigenfrequencies, based on a higher order Nyquist method, enables straightforward implementation on a parallel computer. Illustrative results for ion temperature gradient-related instabilities are presented. These include scaling studies of the radial width, and toroidicity and magnetic shear scans, as well as the effects of nonadiabatic trapped electron dynamics. (C) 1998 American Institute of Physics. [S1070-664X(98)00311-5].