Saturday the 14th of November was no small feat for the Theme & Variations Team, hosting a birthday party and 60 minute concert for 70 guests in their showroom. Six Steinway Concert Grands lined the showroom floor, all mic’d up with expert equipment from RODE Microphones. Each piano was mic’d with a stereo pair of NT5 mics in XY configuration and a Stereo VideoMic X was used for the room.
The expert team of Scott, Clinton, Ming, Tim and Matthew from Rode Microphones setting up the day before the event.
The event saw 10 well-seasoned pianists join forces to share the gift of music on this momentous birthday. Clemens Leske, Timothy Young, Gabriella Pusner, John Luxton, James Huntingford, Andrew Rumsey, Joshua Creek, Reomi Mito, Olivia Urbaniak and Kenneth Tong presented a program of new works and old favourites – with the world premiere of 4 works composed by past and present students from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.
Composers Jim Coyle, Fiona Loader, Ciaran Frame, Fenn Idle and Michael Dooley all contributed works especially for the event. With an unusual number of pianos to compose for, it was no small task writing these pieces (and rehearsing them with all pianists present).
Theme & Variations have been tuning, servicing, restoring and selling pianos for 30 years, and have become a ‘name to remember’ in the piano (and indeed, music) world of Australia. Having supported so many organisations, institutions and talented individuals, it was certainly time to celebrate everything Ara and Nyree Vartoukian have done for the Australian music scene. Organising an event like this presented many logistical challenges, from moving pianos downstairs to scheduling rehearsals for the pianists. Overall, it went off without a hitch – and now we can’t wait for the next one!