Remembering Peter Nero
May 22, 1934 – July 6, 2023
A tribute to the virtuoso pianist
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Pianist Peter Nero passed away on July 6, 2023 at the age of 89.
He was born as Bernard Nierow on May 22, 1934 in Brooklyn, New York.
Nero took up the piano when he was seven and became a brilliant virtuoso who could play anything on the piano and make it look easy.
Nero performed “Rhapsody In Blue” on a Paul Whiteman television special when he was 17.
While he started out playing jazz including on his 1957 recording debut, Nero (who led over 65 albums) also played pop music and classical, having a major hit with “Summer Of ’42.”
A regular on television (including 11 appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show), Nero wrote the score for the film Sunday In New York (appearing in that movie), founded and led Peter Nero and the Philly Pops during 1979-2013, worked with many symphony orchestras (including as Pops music director of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra), and often led a jazz trio.
Here is Nero at the age of 21 appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1965 and being showcased on a rather elaborate version of “I Got Rhythm” with accompaniment by the Ray Bloch Orchestra; the bassist is George Duvivier.