Theme & Variations Foundation


If you are a young Australian pianist under the age of 25 looking to apply for assistance from the Theme & Variations Foundation, we are once again offering assistance in 2018.  Applications may be made here


Listen to Ayesha Gough, one of our 2016 award recipients >>


Rachael to play at 2018 Canberra International Music Festival

As part of this year’s Theme and Variations Foundation awards, Rachael Shipard, one of our three recipients, has been invited to participate in the 2018 Canberra International Music Festival   Read More


This year we publicised the awards to all conservatoria in NSW, Queensland, Victoria and ACT, inviting applications for assistance from our foundation. Applications closed on October 6 and our auditions took place on November 12. We had five finalists each to play a thirty-minute program for an independent artistic assessment panel of Professor Michael Brimer, Professor John Luxton and Ian Munro.  We are pleased to announce our award winners

A Night they won’t forget

It almost certainly happened – that many years ago a small group of people attended a superbly presented dinner party and shared the table with a young man called Vladimir Horowitz. They would never forget that night when he played for them and would go on to tell and retell the story.

History may have repeated itself on the 19th of October last, when a young man called Alexander Gavrylyuk, who is being hailed as the new Horowitz, played for guests at a dinner party in Sydney. Read More

An Evening With with Piers, Ayesha and Alex

Theme & Variations Foundation is proud to announce its major fundraising event for 2017. World famous Australian pianist and our patron, Piers Lane, will host a concert by the two recipients of our 2016 awards program, Alexander Yau and Ayesha Gough. Find out more


About The Foundation

Ara and Nyree Vartoukian have been actively helping and supporting young pianists since opening their piano sales and service business “Theme and Variations” in 1985. Over the years they have generously provided practice facilities and created performance opportunities for many promising young artists.

The Theme & Variations Foundation was formed by Ara and Nyree Vartoukian to encourage and support exceptional young Australian pianists. With the help of friends and colleagues who share a passion for music and pianos, the foundation took shape in late 2011 and was officially launched at the NSW Government House in the presence of Her Excellency Professor Marie Bashir and Mr. Vladimir Ashkenazy on 14th February 2012.


The Theme & Variations Foundation is committed to ensuring talented young Australian pianists receive suitable encouragement and training opportunities. Through these activities as well as working in concert with educational institutions in Australia that provide approved courses, the Theme & Variations Foundation aims to promote Australian talent on national and international concert stages.

The foundation has deductible gift recipient (DGR1) status with the Australian Tax Office so all donations of $2.00 and over are tax deductible. Donations go towards the Foundation’s funding base for the purpose of awarding grants.

As there are already a considerable number of piano competitions and piano scholarships in Australia, the foundation plans to provide different sorts of financial and practical assistance to talented and aspiring piano students where and when it is needed by way of providing eligible scholarships, bursaries and prizes for Australian citizens or permanent residents of Australia.