PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – This week’s bankruptcy filing by the Philadelphia Orchestra, the first ever among a major U.S. Symphony Orchestra, has created more undertow in its wake. His lawyer said Peter Nero and the Philly Pops could become a victim of the Chapter 11 filing.
During his opening remarks to a bankruptcy judge, management lawyer Lawrence McMichael said the musician’s pension, which he claimed had a higher cost than any other U.S. orchestra, as well as its contracts with the Kimmel Center and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, all led to the financial reorganization.
The court papers filed seek relief from pension obligations, a renegotiated deal with the Kimmel and potentially an end to its obligation to the Pops, which management said had been a drain on the orchestra.
Mr. Nero’s lawyer, Paul Rosen, said they were on the verge of casting aside the two-time Grammy Award winning pianist and Pops conductor, by canceling next season, for the first time in 32 years.
Management has said no firm decisions have been made, but there were differences of opinion between McMichael and Rosen on whether the Pops and Nero made or lost money, because of calculations on expenses that include overhead and marketing.
Nero is the founding music director of the Pops orchestra. His concerts cover musical genres that include classical, swing, Broadway, blues and jazz.
Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060