Ara Vartoukian founded Theme & Variations Piano Services in 1985 as a service/piano repair company and expanded the business to include a retail showroom. Prior to forming Theme & Variations, Ara was lecturer in charge at the School of Piano Tuning & Technology at Sydney Conservatorium of Music from 1982 and 1985 and has also participated in piano technology conventions across Australia and New Zealand.
In 1997, Ara was awarded the exclusive dealership for Steinway & Sons pianos in NSW and in 2005 was also awarded the exclusive dealership for Steinway & Sons in QLD. Focusing more on piano maintenance and service, Theme & Variations transitioned to become a Steinway Service Center for Australasia in 2015. Ara has gained vast experience studying with many piano manufacturing companies around the world including Steinway, Yamaha, Ibach, Grotrian Steinweg, Baldwin, Bosendorfer, Bechstein and Young Chang. As well as taking care of pianos across many private homes, educational institutions and performance venues around Sydney, Ara also helps the many pianos that come into Theme & Variations find the right place to call home.
In 2016, Ara was awarded the Order of Australia medal for his ‘service to music as a piano technician, and through support of the arts’.