By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Musicians in the Philly Pops are interceding in the dispute between management and their leader, Peter Nero, over his contract.

When we last left the saga, lawyers for the Pops filed motions in U.S. Bankruptcy Court to reject Nero’s contract, which had two years remaining.

Pops CEO Frank Giordano made it clear that while they were hoping that they could work something out with the Maestro to keep him on the podium, his current pay was “simply too economically burdensome.”

Now, at the suggestion of the musicians’ union, AFM Local 77, which represents musicians who play in the Pops, the two sides have agreed to send the contract to non-binding mediation on Monday.

Lawyer Paul Rosen, who represents Nero, says “what they said is, quote: ‘as a major stakeholder in the ESI bankruptcy, we cannot support a plan of reorganization that provides for a revocation of Mr. Nero’s contract, and a termination of his involvement with the Philly Pops.'”

Nero, the Grammy Award winning pianist and conductor, and founding artistic director of the Pops, has said Peter Nero and the Philly Pops is trademarked, he owns it.

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