The groups will maintain separate boards of directors and will offer separate subscription seasons. Although some musicians already play in both orchestras, the two ensembles will remain separate entities.
"It gives me great pleasure to announce this administrative consolidation between the Philadelphia Orchestra and Peter Nero and the Philly Pops, two thriving arts organizations whose futures will be strengthened by the efficiencies achieved through this collaboration," said Philadelphia Orchestra president Joseph H. Kluger at a press conference today. "We are proud to add the vibrant pops presentations that Peter Nero has created to the array of diverse orchestral offerings that we present to audiences in the Philadelphia region."
Peter Nero, the pianist who leads the Philly Pops, said, "The administrative support this consolidation will provide affords me a wonderful opportunity: to focus on the artistic growth of the Philly Pops, to sustain the work we've been doing, and to develop our artistry to the next level of excellence. I look forward with great enthusiasm to our organization working in conjunction with the administrative leadership of the Philadelphia Orchestra."
In an interview with PlaybillArts today, Kluger said that no one would lose his or her job because of the consolidation, although some open positions at the Philly Pops were not filled in anticipation of the move.
"There's some small administrative savings," he said, but emphasized that most of the financial advantage would come from more efficient ticket sales and fundraising.
"This is a case of two successful organizations recognizing that by working together they can be even more successful," he added.
The Philly Pops was founded in 1979 and has played annually at Philadelphia's July 4th and Labor Day celebrations since 1981. Its programs include classical music, jazz, Broadway songs, and pop music. Like the 105-year-old Philadelphia Orchestra, the Pops performs at Verizon Hall in the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.