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Cash-strapped Philly Orchestra, Philly Pops split

Sept. 20, 2011 - 20:54 By
PHILADELPHIA (AP) ― The Philadelphia Orchestra and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops have agreed to end their six-year business partnership, according to documents filed Monday in federal bankruptcy court.

The organizations merged operations in 2005 with the goals of streamlining administrative tasks and sharing financial operations and some staff, but the relationship was strained almost from the start.

The orchestra in recent months has called the Pops a financial drain, while the Pops has said it was not receiving an adequate share of advertising and marketing funds to promote its concerts and attendance suffered as a result. Nero’s attorney, Paul Rosen, said after a bankruptcy court hearing in April that his client and the Pops were being treated like “an orphan stepchild.”

Under terms of the agreement filed Monday, the Philadelphia Orchestra will pay $1.25 million to the Pops no later than June 30, the official separation date. The money will go toward the Pops’ operations.

The orchestra and Nero and the Pops, in a joint statement released Monday, said they “leave this partnership with mutual respect and admiration for the incredible talent each organization brings to the city of Philadelphia and wishes each other success in all future endeavors.”

“This agreement ... is important as it not only allows The Philadelphia Orchestra to take an important step toward achieving long-term financial stability, but also provides the necessary resources for planning and executing the upcoming season for Peter Nero and the Philly Pops,” the organizations stated.