The July 3 program of patriotic tunes and Duke Ellington music starts at 8:30 p.m.
On Wednesday evening, Nero said in a statement, "I'm proud to announce that, because the mayor and his office have worked so hard to secure the funding for our 11th annual appearance in front of Independence Hall on July 3, I will gladly waive my fee for this concert. And, in addition to our city being the birthplace of our country, I feel I should give back to Philadelphia and its constituents, who have been so good to me and the Pops."
Earlier in the day, Pops president and CEO Frank Giordano said, "It's a done deal, the musicians are being contracted for, the agreement with the city, everything's done. Peter is conducting."
Giordano has proposed a 40 percent cut in Nero's fees, and after two months of talks failed to produce a new contract between Nero and Encore, Giordano filed a motion Monday with U.S. Bankruptcy Court seeking to reject Nero's contract.
Asked whether he thought an agreement could be worked out before July's hearing — a substantial proceeding at which witnesses would be deposed and discovery laid out for the court — Giordano said, "I hope so. I've always contended I want to do a deal. It's just a matter of the economics. I truly hope that we're able to come to an agreement that recognizes the finances as they exist today. That's been our intention all along, that Peter's there."
Contact Peter Dobrin at 215-854-5611 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his blog at www.philly.com/philly/blogs/artswatch.