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Pianist Peter Nero Portrait Session

Source: George Rose / Getty

Peter Nero, Grammy-Award winning American pianist, has died at the age of 89.

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Nero was famous for interpreting pop songs through classical and jazz forms. He also served as the conductor for the Philly Pop’s, the American Orchestra, for over thirty years.

Nero earned Grammy Awards in 1961 for best new artist and in 1962 for best performance by an orchestra or instrumentalist for his record “The Colorful Peter Nero.”

Peter Nero started the Philly Pops orchestra back in 1979, the year Arthur Fiedler died. Fiedler is been acclaimed to practically invent the modern version of the pops orchestra in Boston. Nero hoped to rival it in popularity, “I’d like to beat the pants off them,” Nero said at the time. Although not an eminent as Boston’s orchestra, Nero routinely packed the house with his colorful renditions of pop songs with classical, swing, Broadway, blues and jazz melodies.

Peter Nero, concert & Jazz Pianist arrived in Sydney for this third Australian tour.

Source: Fairfax Media Archives / Getty

He maintained position as conductor for the Philly Pops until 2013, exiting his leadership role when the orchestra said it could no longer afford him.

Nero passed away on Thursday July 6th, at  an Assisted Living Home Care Facility in Eustis, Fla., according to his daughter, Beverly Nero.

Peter Nero, Former Conductor of Philly Pops, Dies at 89  was originally published on