Soundboard October 2011 Issue


In This Newsletter

    •    A Russian Great greets T&V
    •    2011 Brisbane Festival
    •    Commercial Road Chamber Music Series 2011
    •    The Southern Highlands International Piano Competition
    •    Stephen Hough with Musica Viva and SSO
    •    Theme & Variations Reward Program
    •    Piano Doctor
    •    Behind The Keys
    •    For the Diary

Renowned concert pianist Evgeny Kissin’s debut tour to Australia has brought about much excitement and energy in the music world, and we were honoured to have him pay a visit to our Sydney showroom on the 16th of September to select a Steinway & Sons piano for a private recital he was giving in Sydney.
 “Of course, this is the one I will use” he announced after comparing two of our model D concert grands and settling on the 1993 piano affectionately known as “The D”.
We held a small afternoon tea for Mr. Kissin following his piano selection, with a few friends from our T&V family.
The following week saw Mr. Kissin bring down the house for his incredible performances at the Sydney Opera House. The audience had the energy of that at a rock concert, and it was clear that they couldn’t get enough of this incredible musician.
Such a musical sensation leaves us with only one question. When will you be coming back again?

For three weeks every year the city of Brisbane welcomes interstate and international artists who perform in various events as part of the Brisbane Festival. Inspiring a creative buzz throughout the city, the Festival provides a platform for outstanding local talent to share their work and success. The 2011 program boasted four world premieres, five Australian premieres and eleven international productions.
Theme & Variations had the wonderful opportunity to sponsor the festival by preparing and providing three pianos for various venues.
Our Essex GP155 baby grand holidayed in The Spiegeltent – a beautiful Brisbane Festival installation with a velvet, wood and stained glass interior, travelling all the way from Belgium to take up residency in King George Square. The Spiegeltent hosted all genres of music, cabaret and comedy.
Our Essex upright added to the atmosphere in a feisty production of Maria De Buenos Aires, which told the tale of scintillating Maria, a Buenoes Aires escort who draws audiences into her world. The show certainly made for a great night out for Ben Ward who, visiting from Sydney, got his first real taste of Brisbane theatre!
Lastly, our biggest Boston upright took up temporary residence at the Brisbane Powerhouse for a beautiful performance of music, theatre, dance and design, based on of Franz Schubert’s genre-defining composition Die Winterreise.

This year Theme & Variations launched a new concert series in our Brisbane showroom. The brainchild of artistic director Brieley Cutting, The Commercial Road Chamber Music Series comprised of several recitals featuring some of Brisbane’s most talented and upcoming artists. The purpose of the series is to provide a platform that supports and showcases young professional classical musicians in Brisbane. The Theme & Variations showroom was the perfect “world class destination for creative endeavour” for such recitals to take place. Performers included Angela Turner, Stephen Emmerson, the Australian Chamber Musicians, Liam Viney and Anna Grinberg, playing works ranging from an eight-hand Mahler Symphony to a Crumb Duo for amplified piano!

The audiences thoroughly enjoyed every performance , with each concert drawing a bigger crowd.
We’re already planning our 2012 series, so watch this space for upcoming dates!

A small fleet of Steinways and Bostons (as well as Ara) again migrated south during September for the 2011 Southern Highlands International Piano Competition.
A group of 28 competitors travelled from far and wide, some embracing the cold, and some bracing for it to compete for the first prize.
As well as providing practice pianos for the international competitors, Theme & Variations supplied a Steinway & Sons model D (autographed by no less than Evgeny Kissin) for the performances.
Our congratulations go out to all of the competitors, with a special mentions to our own Emerging Artist Series performer Jeremy So, who was awarded “Most Promising Artist”, as well as Giovanni  Miglieta who placed fourth, Edward Neeman and Rustam Muradov who placed equal second, and Wai Yin Wong, who won the award for best Chopin performance, and placed first in the competition.
Our sights are now turning to the Sydney International Piano Competition, which begins auditions in march next year.


Our Customer Reward Program winners for September is Nicole Flex (NSW) and (QLD). You’ve won two tickets to your choice to an event with one of the many orchestras, venues and ensembles around Sydney and Brisbane that Theme & Variations supports. call our Sydney showroom on (02) 9958 9888  or Brisbane on (07) 3666 0650 to claim your prize.
If you would like to go in the draw to win a similar prize, it’s simple! All you have to do is book a piano service with Ben in Sydney, or Alice in Brisbane, and you’ll automatically go in the draw.


We’re introducing two exciting new sections to our SOUNDBOARD newsletter; the ‘Piano Doctor’ and ‘Behind the Keys’.
With pianos being such complex machines, we thought we’d provide a little piano education for you by giving you the opportunity to write into our very own piano doctor, Mr. Ara Vartoukian, and have your questions answered.
We’d love to hear about some of the interesting ‘quirks’ that your piano might have, and what needs to be done to get it singing in tip top shape again – just email your letter to with the title “Piano Doctor”. We’ll provide an answer for all of your emails, and feature some of the more intriguing issues in the next edition of SOUNDBOARD.