The Continuing Saga Of Ravel’s “Bolero”

This week, the rights to Ravel’s 1928 “Bolero” have entered the public domain. You know “Bolero,” of course. Composed in haste for a dancer friend, it has been used in countless ad campaigns, by Torvill and Dean for their perfect gold medal performance at the 1984 Winter Olympics, and equally memorably as the accompaniment to the rhythmic writhings of Dudley Moore and Bo Derek in “10.” What you probably didn’t know is that the story of the missing “Bolero” millions — the rights to the work, for the 88 years until this week — is one of the greatest artists’-rights sagas in history. It is a tangled tale, with all the right ingredients: manipulative confidants, Machiavellian machinations, a rewritten will and scheming lawyers. Details here.

Leave a Comment