Dr. Richard Burns has been a staunch supporter of MIM since it opened in 2010, both as a benefactor and a volunteer. He has facilitated loans and donations of musical instruments and related objects to the museum, including a historic krar (framed lyre) in the Ethiopia exhibit and a Black Watch piper’s uniform in the Scotland exhibit. He and his family sponsored the Violin Makers of Cremona exhibit in the Europe Gallery.
Burns and his wife founded the Richard and Babette Addona Burns Charitable Fund, which has provided scholarships to the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts and prize money for the biannual Bösendorfer and Yamaha International Piano Competition at Arizona State University. Some of the Fund’s recipients have found successful careers as teachers and recording artists; one cofounded the Classical Music Academy of Dhaka in Bangladesh. The Fund has also provided musical instruments to Rosie’s House (a music academy for children) and the Herrera Elementary School in Phoenix and continues to support scholarships on the East Coast.
Burns graduated from Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania and received his MD degree from Temple University School of Medicine. He practiced interventional radiology in the Valley for twenty-five years and was a member of several prestigious medical and radiological societies. He helped establish and direct the Breast Care Center of John C. Lincoln Hospital. He has retired from the practice of medicine.