In Monday’s (8/1) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin reports, “The Philadelphia Orchestra has come under assault in recent days by two parties whose legal maneuvers threaten its $140 million endowment. Pianist and conductor Peter Nero, founding music director of the Philly Pops, on Friday filed a request for a financial examination of details of the relationship between the Annenberg Foundation and the Philadelphia Orchestra Association. The orchestra and the Pops are in contentious talks over the financial terms of a separation, and the examination, requested in a motion to the judge in the association’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case, is an attempt to compel a settlement, sources familiar with the action say. The request claims that the orchestra entered into a merger agreement with the Pops in 2005 ‘as part of its effort to fulfill its agreement with Annenberg and the conditions and goals and requirements of the $50 million gift from Annenberg.’ The foundation, founded by the late Philadelphia philanthropist Walter H. Annenberg and now headquartered in Los Angeles, is clearly annoyed at being brought into the disagreement. … The Pops’ move is only one threat. The American Federation of Musicians’ pension fund has suggested it could sue members of the orchestra board and outside funders to secure the estimated $23 million to $35 million it says it would be owed if the association decided to withdraw from the national musicians’ pension fund.”

Posted August 1, 2011