Guest Editor Joseph Tolliver, Marana Chamber of Commerce
This article appeared in the Marana Chamber of Commerce eNews on March 22, 2022
“I have been a member of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Arizona since 1988, arriving in Tucson in 1987 while on a one-year leave from the University of Maryland. At the end of that year, I was offered a position, with tenure, at the U of A. A member of the philosophy department told me about the AFCM concerts. My wife Constance and I began attending concerts and loved the experience: great music, fabulous musicians, and a friendly ambiance of fellow music lovers. Great concerts flowed: including Emerson String Quartet, Tokyo String Quartet, and the foundational Juilliard String Quartet. I was listening to the beating heart of great classical music in Tucson!
“After three years, we became regulars in the AFCM audience. I was introduced to the then President of the Board of AFCM Jean-Paul Bierny. He told me about his vision of an all-volunteer board, bringing Tucson the world’s best chamber music. I accepted an invitation to join the Board of Directors.
“A typical AFCM season consisted of six or seven concerts. That soon changed. AFCM introduced a new concert series, “Piano & Friends” offering young up-and-coming piano talent, including the now mega-star Lang-Lang. On a chance meeting aboard a flight, Jean-Paul and cellist Peter Rejto dreamed up the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival. Amidst all this Jean-Paul, board member Helmut Abt and I began the Commissioning Program to sponsor new chamber music works. This initiative has led to the creation of more than half-a-hundred contributions to the chamber music corpus. The generosity of our audience has made it possible for AFCM to do all this while keeping ticket prices low.
“One of my philosophical interests is the philosophy of music. How lucky can a guy get!”