On May 1, 2016 one of the most performed musical works to the world, the Bolero by Maurice Ravel, has fallen into the public domain almost one hundred years after its first performance in Paris. Composed in 1928 and performed for the first time on November 22 of that year at the Opera Garnier, the work was commissioned by Russian ballerina Ida Rubinstein, a friend and patron of Ravel.
In almost 90 years the work was performed by the most prestigious orchestras in the world, under the direction of the greatest conductors, Toscanini, Abbado and Boulez. The Bolero has also inspired many choreographies, the most famous of which is probably that of Maurice Béjart represented in 1961.
Until 1994, the Bolero remained in first place in the world rankings of the copyright and it is estimated that between 1960 and today it has generated more than 50 million Euros of royalties.
The work's notoriety has caused, after the death of Ravel’s brother, Edouard in 1960, a long dispute between the supposed heirs, Edouard’s masseuse Jeanne Taverne, his driver and factotum, Alexander, the nephews of the composer and a director of SACEM, the French collecting society.