Peter Nero, pianist, arranger, and founder of the Philly Pops, died at age 89 on July 6.

In Saturday’s (7/8) Philadelphia Inquirer, Earl Hopkins and Peter Dobrin write, “Peter Nero, 89, the legendary pianist, longtime player-conductor of the Philly Pops, and jazz maestro, died Thursday. His daughter, Beverly Nero, said he died of natural causes … in Eustis, Fla…. ‘We are saddened today to hear of Peter Nero’s passing,’ the Philly Pops wrote in a statement. ‘There are countless unforgettable moments which Peter brought to Philadelphia. The Philly Pops has always been inspired by his vision, his talent, and his artistry.’… Born Bernard Nierow on May 22, 1934 … he rose from smoky piano lounges to concert stages … The revered pianist, who worked with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Rod Stewart, Johnny Mathis, and Mel Tormé, carved his path by releasing acclaimed albums and taking club dates and talk show appearances. That all led to his repute as a musical treasure … who could program a two-hour concert that blended pop, classic and jazz genres…. Nero studied at New York’s High School of Music and Art … and part time at Juilliard … Nero developed his jazz chops, and [a record] deal with RCA and his eventual move to Columbia Records sealed his fate as a long-standing musical titan…. Nero released upward of 70 albums … [At] his final stand as Philadelphia Pops director in 2013, the crowd rose in a standing ovation before he graced the keyboard…. Along with his daughter, Mr. Nero is survived by his son, Jedd … and his brother, Alan.”