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Philly Pops names successor to music director Peter Nero; Michael Krajewski to take over Pops
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 11/14/12 12:35 am | updated: 11/14/12 12:35 am
The Philly Pops, presented by Encore Series Inc., have announced they have hired the successor to music director Peter Nero. Nero, a Grammy-winning jazz pianist and pops conductor, has been the Pops' musical leader since the it was founded in 1979. This is his last year at the podium. His exit was negotiated as part of the Pops' chapter 11 petition filed in April, 2011.

The announcement of the new musical director came at a press conference Tuesday at city hall. Michael Krajewski, 62, will take over in the fall of 2013. Krajewski currently leads pops orchestras in Atlanta, Houston and Jacksonville. Mayor Nutter made the announcement of the new conductor acknowledging Nero "for his contribution to the arts.” Nero was not present at the announcement. Nero's lawyer says he wasn't invited, but Pops president/CEO Frank Giordano says he was.

The Pops had initially offered the position to pianist, conductor and composer Marvin Hamlisch. Hamlisch had accepted the offer, however he passed away this past August, forcing the search to continue.

Krajewski's contract will be for three years. While the terms of salary were not disclosed, Giordano said it will be on par with other conductors and significantly less than Nero. Nero still will conduct the Philly Pops several more times this season. The Pops expects to announce the program and guest artists for Krajewski's 2013-14 season in January.

Krajewski is a traditional pops-conductor prefering themed concerts with both major and smaller orchestras. This year he's led a Simon and Garfunkel tribute, a holiday series, a Louis Armstong sendup, and themes James Bond movies to name a few. He told the gathering today, "All of the things you love about the Philly Pops are going to continue for years to come." The one thing that will definitely be missing from the Philly Pops... Peter Nero behind the piano.

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