Verdict: Ravel is the sole author of “Bolero”.

A court in France has attributed the sole authorship of “Bolero” to Maurice Ravel. A court in Nanterre, near Paris, ruled today that the piece, one of classical music’s most famous works, was written only by the French composer. This disproves the claim that Ravel created the piece in collaboration with the famous Russian set designer Alexandre Benois.

The documents provided do not prove his co-authorship. Work is therefore “public property”. Ravel wrote it in 1928 and it premiered in Paris that same year. According to estimates, “Bolero” has brought in around 50 million euros in royalties since 1960 alone.

Ravel died unmarried in 1937.

Copyright protection for the piece expired in 2016. Since then, “Bolero” has been considered public property. Since then, everyone has been able to use it without a license without paying royalties.

However, the heirs of Benois, who participated in the premiere of “Bolero”, insisted on recognizing the artist as a co-author and demanded a share of the proceeds.

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