by New Zealand pianist Sylvia Jiang
As a young piano student, I have played all sorts of pianos- from the upright with questionable origins to the Steinway at the Juilliard School of Music shipped in directly from Alice Tully an elevator ride away. However, I can say with absolute honesty and certainty that Ara Vartoukian’s pianos are the best I’ve ever played. And I suppose you could scoff at that declaration because ‘what do I know’ but honestly, I’m not the only one saying it – I just happen to have a chance to write about it.
I first played an ‘Ara Piano’ at the Lev Vlassenko Piano Competition in Brisbane last year – and over the two weeks I was completely blown away by everything I could do on that piano. It seemed like finally everything we had learnt over the years about pianos and sound was suddenly plausible.
It is thus that I was incredibly excited to be performing in Sydney- and I was not disappointed. The audience were so wonderfully warm and welcoming and the weather was perfect. I especially wish to extend my thanks to my gracious hosts Nyree, Anita, and Haig, and of course to Ara for creating again an immaculate piano. I have decided that as soon as (if I ever) become accomplished and wealthy, I will immediately kidnap Ara and take him everywhere with me to master all the pianos I will ever play. Though completely implausible, one is still allowed to dream.
Sylvia Jiang traveled to Sydney from Auckland to perform as part of the Emerging Artists series 2014.