Philadelphia Orchestra, Pops to collaborate on new plan

Posted on: July 1, 2010

In Thursday’s (7/1) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin writes, “As the deadline passes for ending or continuing a relationship between the Philadelphia Orchestra and Philly Pops, the word from both sides is: Never mind—at least for now. A five-year merger agreement between the two groups expired at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, and the Philadelphia Orchestra Association had the option of dissolving the Pops’ board and fully absorbing the smaller group. But orchestra president Allison B. Vulgamore said Tuesday that the orchestra would not exercise that option. Instead, board members from Encore Series Inc., which runs the Pops, have agreed to participate in the preparation of a strategic planning report encompassing both orchestra and Pops and addressing such issues as programming, market research, financial projections, staffing, and fund-raising. Work on that process is expected to start in July and conclude in December, said Vulgamore and ESI board chairman D. Walter Cohen. … Nero has established what leaders on both sides characterize as a productive relationship with Vulgamore—a turnaround from what it had been with other Orchestra Association representatives. ‘Since Allison arrived [in January] it has been such a different environment,’ said Cohen. ‘She has been so supportive of the Pops and Peter Nero, and we’re all very gratified. It’s changed the whole milieu considerably.’ ”

Posted July 1, 2010