Jul 09, 2023
By Kathy Hyde
Grammy-winning pianist Peter Nero. who interpreted pop songs through classical and jazz forms and served as the Philly Pops’ conductor for more than three decades, has died.
Nero passed away Thursday at an Assisted Living Facility in Florida. He was 89.
He started the Philly Pops orchestra in 1979, the year Arthur Fiedler died. While Fiedler is credited with virtually inventing the modern version of the pops orchestra in Boston, Nero hoped to rival it in popularity.
Nero coloured his renditions of pop songs, from Cole Porter and George Gershwin to the Beatles and Bob Dylan with classical, swing, Broadway, blues and jazz melodies.
In a 2007 interview, Nero said he “enjoyed seeing the lines blur”..