Ara Vartoukian OAM – Director & Concert Technician

Cert. of Piano Tuning & Technology (SCM) with Merit

Ara is the founder and director of Theme & Variations Piano Services and is regarded as one of Australia’s leading concert technicians and piano experts.

Ara was recently presented with the prestigious honour of being awarded an Order of Australia medal (OAM) for this personal, academic and philanthropic achievements within the piano and music industry. Ara’s accomplishments have set the benchmark for technical acoustic standards both locally and internationally.

Ara’s career started at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music where he obtained a Certificate with Merit from the School of Piano Tuning & Technology in 1978. He obtained the highest marks of any graduate and set the record for the most accurate tuning within the school. Shortly after Ara was appointed the position of head lecturer at the School of Piano Tuning & Technology at the  Conservatorium and held the position until 1985.

Throughout his career Ara has spent time abroad studying in many piano factories such as Yamaha, Ibach, Bechstein, Steinway & Sons (Hamburg & New York), Grotrian, Renner, Bösendorfer and Baldwin.  As Ara began to form solid commercial relationships with European piano manufacturers, Theme and Variations Piano Services was appointed the Exclusive NSW and QLD agents for Steinway & Sons pianos (1998 to 2015).

Today Ara leads a team of 7 piano technicians that service both private and institutional clients across the eastern seaboard of Australia, as well as overseeing a dedicated team that manage the piano showroom, showcasing a selection of new and pre-owned pianos across various brands.

Ara and his wife Nyree are highly regarded for their philanthropic commitments within the Australian arts community. To formalise their generosity, in 2011 The Theme & Variations Foundation was established. The foundation provides resourcing, mentorship and financial assistance to young eligible Australian pianists. Over the years the foundation has provided many opportunities to gifted young pianists to fulfil their goals and establish themselves within the arts industry.