How to get paid for Classical Music Performances

Step 1

Join BMI

Sign Up
Step 2

Register Works

Step 3

Report Music Performances

Frequently Asked Questions

Payment Information

Domestic Live Concerts

The live classical concert season runs from September 1 through August 31 annually. Royalty distribution occurs in August of the following year. For instance, the 2015-2016 live classical distribution for performances between September 1, 2015 and August 31, 2016 will be paid in August, 2017.

Domestic Radio & Television Broadcasts

Payments are made quarterly for radio and television broadcasts. The quarterly statements are issued about 6 months after the conclusion of a quarter and no statement is sent if there are no earnings during that period. For further information about these payments, please check here.

International Performances (all types)

Payments for international performances (outside the U.S.) are made by BMI on a quarterly basis. These statements reflect the sums received by BMI from foreign societies in the six month period prior to payment. In general, payments may take 2 to 4 years from the date of performance or date of performance claim. Each statement is accompanied by a list of societies reporting, the periods for which they are reporting, and what types of performances are included.


Meet the classical team

To affiliate with BMI as a classical composer, please send a copy of your resume and a list of works with information on performances and venues to

Have questions? Feel free to contact us.

View Bio Deirdre Chadwick
View Bio Scott Bartucca
View Bio Chris McCormick
View Bio Ed Israel
View Bio Nolan Eley

BMI Classical FAQs

Q: I arranged a Public Domain classical work.  Will I get paid for its performance?

Q: What if my classical performance was a U.S. premiere?

Q: Should I report a classical performance using BMI Live?

Q: How do I report a classical performance that occurred outside the United States?

Q: Should I report a classical radio broadcast?

Q: How do I report a classical performance to BMI?

Q: The work titles in my BMI catalog have no punctuation. Why is that?

Q: I don’t have reliable internet access. Can I still use the PDF or paper forms?

Q: Each work of mine appears in my catalog twice, once with my last name and once without. Why is that?

Q: A movement from my sonata has been performed by itself. Should I register that movement separately?

Q: My publisher doesn’t have a BMI affiliation. How should I register the work?

Q: A clarinetist has performed my violin sonata without permission. Do I need to change the registration?

Q: I have added a movement to an existing work. How do I register the new material?

Q: I used text found on the Internet in my composition, but can’t find who wrote it. Can I register?

Q: The poet who wrote my text is deceased. Do I need permission to use her work? How do I get it?

Q: Can I register my ballet score?

Q: Can I register my opera?

Q: I scored a film mostly with orchestral music. How should I register my work?

Q: I self-publish all my works. How can I add my publishing company to my work registrations?

Q: I have a new instrumentation for a work I already registered. Must I register it as a separate work?

Q: How should I register instrumental tracks (using orchestral instruments) that I wrote for an album?

Q: I arranged a public domain classical work. How should it be registered?

"Makrokosmos" composed by George Crumb

Score used with permission from Peters Edition Ltd.