As dear friends of Theme & Variations would know over the years, Ara Vartoukian OAM can be hard to reach at times so we thought we should give you an update all the exciting adventures he has been up to.
As one of Australia’s most respected piano technicians having serviced pianos for the likes of Vladimir Ashkenazy, Stephen Hough, Yuja Wang as well as the Steinway piano at the Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in 2015 among other things, Steinway has asked Ara to head the new piano tuning course at the Beijing Central Conservatory in China. China is home to 20 million pianists along with a significant shortage of competent piano technicians so Ara has been making regular trips to Beijing to administer course material and exams to students.
“Feeling happy and accomplished with the great progress of the Piano Tuning and Technology Course students…. The week was made extra special for them with a surprise visit from the wonderful concert pianist Sa Chen .. Suffice to say a good opportunity for a sneak peek at our future Piano Technicians!” – Ara Vartoukian
Next stop – Hamburg!
To be a concert technician, it is not enough to just be able to tune a piano. Each key contains over 100 components and each of those components needs to be regulated to perfection. Ara has also been at the Steinway Hamburg factory deliver a masterclass in concert preparation for a select group of concert technicians.
“First day for conducting a ‘masterclass’ in concert preparation with concert technicians in Hamburg Moritz Knauer, Thomas Lepler, Michael Schäfer and Frederic Plessis.
Great to exchange different techniques, ideas and concepts with these wonderful technicians.
I can see it will be a most interesting week with many detailed and intriguing questions posed already on day one….” – Ara Vartoukian