Best Patron of the Arts
Tucson's favorite Belgian-born radiologist just celebrated his 25th anniversary as president (or, as he says, dictator for life) of the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music. Jean-Paul Bierny is not the moneybags figurehead you too often find on arts boards; sure, he writes checks liberally, but he also works hard to keep his organization not just surviving, but innovating. Largely through his efforts, the Friends not only present top-name chamber ensembles through the season and mount an excellent little festival every March, but they regularly commission brand-new music and hire fresh young players to keep the recital hall from becoming a musical museum. Bierny is the best kind of arts patron: He does it not for a tax deduction, but for love.