By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The organization that runs the Philly Pops wants to end its 33-year run with its founding artistic director and conductor, Peter Nero.
Unless there’s a breakthrough, the Pops’ latest move in US Bankruptcy Court leaves the podium empty for next season.
As it tries to exit bankruptcy, lawyers for the Pops have filed motions to end Nero’s contract, which has two years remaining on it, contending his pay is “simply too economically burdensome” (see previous story).
“We said all along that we want Peter to remain the conductor of the Philly Pops, but we’ve said all along the Pops cannot survive with Nero’s current contract,” says Pops CEO Frank Giordano.
Nero says his lawyers are fighting the move.
“It’s not the Pops that are not renewing my contract, it’s Encore Series (the administrative organization that operates the Pops). The Pops is me! ‘Peter Nero and the Philly Pops’ is trademarked, and I own it,” Nero told KYW Newsradio today.
In the meantime, Giordano says, they are working on an arrangement for Nero to conduct the traditional free annual concert, set for July 3rd at Independence Hall.