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Alexander is delighted to be involved with various charities.


Theme and Variations Young Pianist Trust Fund

Founders: Ara and Nyree Vartoukian Ambassador:  Alexander Gavrylyuk, concert pianist

Advisory Board Members

Chris Levy (Chairman), Robert Haski, Caroline Lee, Anita Levy (secretary), Fraser McEwing, Tony Tanner, Ara Vartoukian, Nyree Vartoukian

Upcoming charity concert by Alexander on 18th February 2012.



Mission Our mission is to provide support and encouragement for young and aspiring Australian pianists.

How we plan to help

Our mission will be achieved by (but not limited to):

  • Providing a piano library and perhaps a keyboard library for young pianists who cannot afford a suitable piano.
  • Subsidising places at events run by recognised music teaching institutions for students who could not otherwise afford such teaching.
  • Subsidising travel and accommodation costs and tuition fees for outstanding students who could not otherwise afford their chosen course of study.
  • Providing quality performance opportunities for young pianists.
  • Arranging renowned pianists to provide Masterclass opportunities.

Our Advisory Board is currently looking into all of the above ways in which support can be provided and will shortly determine which will be the first to be offered. Initially it is expected that only modest amounts of financial help will be available. Our financial goal is to raise at least one million dollarswithin our first three years and more after that. As funds are collected and invested, the interest income from those funds will be available for the above awards and scholarships. Over the coming years we will assist more young pianists as the endowment fund increases.

There are already a considerable number of piano competitions and piano scholarships in Australia. We do not plan to compete with any of them. Instead we want to provide different sorts of financial and practical assistance to talented and aspiring piano students who could not otherwise participate in and benefit from activities and events which will help them advance to their next level of competence and performance.


The Theme & Variations Foundation is a national organisation committed to ensuring talented young Australians receive suitable encouragement and training opportunities. Through these activities, the Foundation aims to promote Australian talent on national and international concert stages.

The Foundation has been set up as a non-profit charitable organisation and has formally applied for Deductible Gift Recipient status with the Australian Tax Office. Once approved (estimated time of approval: December 2011 or early in 2012) donations of $2.00 and over will be tax deductible. In the meantime, the Foundation is accepting pledges to help build its funding base so that it may begin awarding scholarships as soon as possible.


With increasing legislative and regulatory conditions about the way charities must operate and report, the Theme & Variations Foundation is working with The Trust Company to ensure the Foundation meets professional governance and compliance standards across its full range of activities.

Why help us?

Becoming a concert pianist is a solitary pursuit which demands mental and physical stamina, discipline and commitment. While there are currently many piano competitions throughout Australia which help to launch solo piano

careers, as far as we are aware there is no other organisation which provides guidance, support and financial assistance to help young Australian pianists prepare for the rigours of concert, competition and music performance.

By supporting our Foundation you can help a young pianists, especially those under financial stress, to advance to higher levels of skills and achievement.

Overhead expenses will be minimal. All the Advisory Board positions are honorary, mailing and promotional activities will be charged at cost, and The Trust Company charges very modest fees to ensure that we comply with all relevant laws, rules and regulations. It is anticipated that our total operating costs will not exceed twelve percent of the funds available for awards and scholarships in any year.

Ways you can help

•  Individual donations

Financial donations of any size will go into an endowment fund, the interest from which will pay for piano rental, student subsidies, fees paid to pianists who will provide Masterclasses and any other expenses authorised by the Advisory Board and approved by the Trustees.

•  Piano library

If you have a piano in good working order which you think would make a good practice piano for the Foundation’s piano bank, that would a wonderful way to contribute towards the Foundation’s mission. Where possible we will have such pianos serviced and placed them with suitable young piano students. In other cases we will pay for piano rental for say 12 months for a piano student who could not otherwise afford to buy or rent their own piano. Qualifying students will have to pay for transport, insurance and tuning, but not for the piano rental itself.

•  Volunteering

Whether it’s ushering at concerts, helping at events or contributing ideas and efforts for fund raising we would love to hear from you. Or you may be able to assist in some other way. Please let us know how you would like to help and we will do all we can to have you involved.

•  Bequests

Leaving a bequest to the Foundation will be an excellent way of making a significant contribution to its growth and success. You may choose to leave a particular asset or specified sum of money, or a percentage of your total estate. Bequests may be given freely so that the Foundation can apply the money to the area of most need. It is also possible to leave a bequest with a requirement that the Foundation use your gift for specific purpose. However you choose to give your gift, it will help to ensure that the Foundation can continue its work into the future. Please speak with one of the Advisory Board members to discuss your suggestions and plans.

•  Corporate Sponsorship

The Foundation is keen to work in partnership with businesses which share the same values as the Advisory Board. If your company would like to be associated with the Theme & Variations Foundation and the work it does please contact one of our Advisory Board members.

Conditions for receiving help from the Foundation (Please note: this list is yet to be finalised).

  • Applicants must have Australian citizenship or be a permanent resident of Australia
  • Applicants need to be under the age of 30 or at the time they apply for help from the Foundation.
  • Proof age will be a requirement and a means test will be applied.
  • Applicants must all go through a formal application and audition process as prescribed by the Advisory Board and judging panel, and be undertaking an approved coursed of piano study with a recognised Institution. Evidence of ongoing achievement will be required.
  • Applicants must be actively pursuing a career as a solo professional pianist or accompanist.


Applying for assistance from the Foundation

As the Foundation is still in its infancy, the Advisory Board is still determining the audition, qualification, scholarship conditions and criteria. This process will be finalised by the official launch of the Foundation in February 2012. The Foundation will also review its grants and scholarship programs each year to ensure they remain relevant to developments in the performance world.

Please contact us

We will be delighted to hear from anyone with ideas and suggestions about:-

  • Ways in which we can assist young pianists
  • Ways in which we can raise funds
  • How we can contact like minded people



Another charity Alexander has been involved with is Opportunity Cambodia. He played a charity concert in Sydney in 16th June 2010. Further plans are underway for another concert in 2012.

Please visit http://www.opportunitycambodia.org.au/ for more information.

Did you know?

.  Cambodia is the fourth  poorest country  in the world

.   During the 1970s the  Khmer Rouge wiped out almost the entire educated middle class in Cambodia

.  Almost 80% of the population live in rural areas at subsistence level

. 70% of Cambodians live on less than USD2 per day

. 47% of children aged 10-14 are involved in child labour

.  only 6% of Cambodian villages have a lower secondary school

.  only 18% of  children of secondary school age  are enrolled in lower secondary school


Oka Tmay

In the Khmer language Oka Tmay means ‘new opportunity’.  This is the name of the first children’s residential education centre that has been established.  It is housed in a large traditional village house in a rural commune about 80km south of Siem Reap City. Here the children are given clothing, shelter, food and education. For more information please download the brochure below.



Make a general contribution

Donations of any size to support the welfare and

education of the children will be greatly appreciated www.afap.org




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