Philadelphia Orchestra, Philly Pops sever ties

The Philly Pops lives.

Peter Nero and the pops orchestra he leads have agreed to split from the Philadelphia Orchestra Association, terminating a six-year experimental merger that was bumpy from the start, stormy at the end, and never fully consummated.

Under the terms of the separation, the Pops will receive a $1.25 million settlement from the Association to fund future operations. The Association will continue to provide office space and a certain amount of organizational support to the Pops through June.

And the Pops – which was unsure of whether it could continue operations apart from the Association – can now announce a season and begin selling tickets.

Musicians and guest artists held on tenterhooks for months have been informed that the shows will go on, said Nero.

“I’m ecstatic,” said the 77-year-old internationally acclaimed pianist and pops conductor. “I really miss playing with the orchestra and miss playing for our audiences. I can’t wait to get back into it.”