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Feature banner for an evening with Piers Lane, Ayesha Gough and Alexander Yau

Theme & Variations Foundation

2017 Grant Applications NOW OPEN

If you too are a young Australian pianist under the age of 25 looking to apply for assistance from the Theme & Variations Foundation, we will once again be offering assistance in 2017.

Applications are now open for young Australian pianists, under the age of 25, who wish to apply for financial assistance from Theme & Variations Foundation.

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

2016 Award Winners Announced

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 7 and our auditions took place on November 13. We had four finalists each to play a thirty minute program for an independent artistic assessment panel of Professor Michael Brimer and Professor John Luxton. We are pleased to announce our award winners….

Tony Lee did us proud

Congratulations to Theme and Variations Foundation award winner, Tony Lee who was recently selected as one of the 32 young pianists to compete in the Sydney International Piano Competition. Read more.

Ara Vartoukian Awarded an OAM

Ara Vartoukian, co-founder of the Theme & Variations Foundation, has been awarded a medal in the General Division of the Order of Australia as part of the Queen’s Birthday 2016 Honours List. Read 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.