Composer birth and death dates for copyright status

This list of composers’ dates is intended to assist groups in determining the copyright status of works they are performing or promoting. Note that this is by no means an exhaustive list but hopefully it provides a useful starting point. Composers still in copyright as of 2017 are printed in bold.

If you need further guidance on performing rights fees then please see our further guidance:

As copyright can be applied to a particular edition or arrangement of a work, authoritative guidance should be sought from the publisher or PRS for Music if you are unsure. In general in the UK a piece of music is in copyright until 70 years after year of the composer’s (or arranger’s) death.

You may also like to check the following website, which gives dates of a large number of composers, and some biographical information. Whilst we cannot vouch for the reliability of this information, you may find it a useful reference.

Major Composers' Dates

Albeniz 1860-1909
M Arnold  1921-2006
Balakirev 1837-1910
Barber 1910-1981
Bartók 1881-1945
Bax 1883-1953
Berg 1885-1935
L Berkeley 1903-1989
Berlioz 1803-1865
Bernstein 1918-1990
Bizet 1838-1875
Bliss 1891-1875
Bloch 1880-1959
Borodin 1833-1887
Boulez 1925- 2016
Brahms 1833-1897
Britten 1913-1976
Bruch 1838-1920
Bruckner 1824-1896
Busoni 1866-1924
Chabrier 1841-1894
Chausson 1855-1899
Chilcott 1955-
Chopin 1810-1849
Copland 1900-1990
Debussy 1862-1918
Delibes 1836-1891
Delius 1862-1934
Dohnanyi 1877-1960
Donizetti 1797-1848
Dukas 1865-1935
Duruflé 1902-1986
Dvorak 1841-1904
Elgar 1857-1934
Falla 1876-1946
Fauré 1845-1924
Finzi 1901-1956
Franck 1822-1890
Gerhard 1896-1970
Gershwin 1898-1937
Glazunov 1865-1936
Gounod 1818-1893
Grainger 1882-1961
Granados 1867-1916
Grieg 1843-1907
Henze 1926-2012
Hindemith 1895-1963

Holst 1874-1934
Honegger 1892-1955
Humperdinck 1854-1921
Ireland 1879-1962
Ives 1874-1954

Janàček 1854-1928
K Jenkins 1944-
Kodály 1882-1967

Lalo 1823-1892
Leoncavallo 1858-1919
Liszt 1811-1886
Mahler 1860-1911
Mascagni 1863-1945
Massenet 1842-1912
Maxwell Davies 1934- 2016
Mendelssohn 1809-1847
Messiaen 1908-1992
Milhaud 1892-1974
Moeran 1894-1950

Mussorgsky 1839-1881
Nielsen 1865-1931
Offenbach 1819-1880
Orff 1895-1982
Poulenc 1899-1963
Prokofiev 1891-1953

Puccini 1858-1924
Rachmaninov 1873-1943
Ravel 1875-1937
Respighi 1879-1936
Rimsky- Korsakov 1844-1908
Roussel 1869-1937
Rubbra 1901-1986
Rutter 1945-

Saint-Saëns 1835-1921
Satie 1866-1925
Schoenberg 1974-1951
Schubert 1797-1828
Schumann 1810-1856
Scriabin 1872-1915
Shostakovich 1906-1975
Sibelius 1865-1957

Smetana 1824-1884
Stockhausen 1928-2007
J Strauss II 1825-1899
R Strauss 1864-1949
Stravinsky 1882-1971

Sullivan 1842-1900
Szymanowsky 1882-1937
Tchaikovsky 1840-1893
Tippett 1905-1998
Vaughan-Williams 1872-1958
Verdi 1813-1901
Villa-Lobos 1887-1959
Wagner  1813-1883
Walton 1902-1983
Warlock 1894-1930
Webern 1883-1945
Weill 1900-1950
Wolf 1860-1903


We hope you find this Making Music resource useful. If you have any comments or suggestions about the guidance please contact us. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the content of this guidance is accurate and up to date, Making Music do not warrant, nor accept any liability or responsibility for the completeness or accuracy of the content, or for any loss which may arise from reliance on the information contained in it.