This year marked the 20th anniversary of the Tucson Winter Chamber Music Festival and the depature of Jean Paul Bierne, longtime president of the Arizona Friends of Chamber Music.

Bierne, head of the organization behind the yearly festival, is departing after 35 years, leaving a festival that has developed a reputation that now attracts world-class musicians.

“It’s a reputation that is really top notch, not only the musicians but also the programming,” says Bierne.

Performances include works of the great composers - Bartok, Brahms, Mozart and Beethoven. Bierne says he’s also proud of the commissioned works that are premiered at each and every festival.

He says these works are funded by audience members in Tucson and are a testament to the community’s appreciation for the music.

“There is no other chamber music society anywhere, whether it’s in the U.S., or in Europe, or wherever, remotely comparable with ours,” says Bierne.

In 1995, organization started a commissioning program to support the composition of new chamber music. This season marks the 50th world premiere composition.