PRS for Music’s Live Classical scheme renewed from 1 September 2023

Enables increased rate flexibility for major orchestras, discounts for amateur groups to encourage live classical concerts

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PRS for Music today announced the details of changes to its live classical licence, which will come into effect for events held from 1 September this year.

Live performance is vital to classical music and PRS for Music is supporting the financial future of the next generation of composers

Dan Lewis, Classical Relationship Manager, PRS for Music 


All praise is due to the PRS and the numerous organisations with whom they have consulted; this is an excellent development for composers, publishers and, indeed, everyone who cares for the future of classical music in this country

Composer Sir George Benjamin, CBE

The updates apply to classical concerts and recitals, giving individual musicians and orchestras the ability to perform any of the works included in PRS’ classical repertoire.  The revision includes a new fixed rate of 6.5% (updating the current rate of 4.8% which has been in place since its introduction in 2003) and a variable rate of 10.5%. As with the previous process, programme reporting submission discounts remain available.

A 50% discount is newly available to amateur groups, defined as an individual or group operated by primarily unpaid volunteers and where most revenues are used to maintain the group, making it easier for the thousands of amateur groups across the UK to host events and concerts.


I’m very grateful to the PRS for negotiating this increase for live classical performances. It means a great deal to feel that our work is properly valued. Artists want to contribute; crucially, this lift will help to maintain the level of artistry that is so needed in our society - faced as we are - with the vast and ever-growing complexities of everyday life

Composer Tansy Davies

On behalf of leisure-time music groups, we are grateful to PRS for introducing a special rate for Amateur groups, and for listening carefully to concerns about repertoire, too. This new agreement makes it easier and more affordable for these small groups to do their bit to spread music creators’ work into every community in the UK

Barbara Eifler, CEO of Making Music

In addition, large orchestras who are members of the Association of British Orchestras (ABO) will be able to obtain a licence directly from PRS for Music.  Previously only venues and promoters could license through this route and by opening up to orchestras they can better plan their concert seasons.

Consultations with the classical community and its stakeholders ran from 2019 to 2022 and were wide-ranging and extensive. To appropriately adapt to today’s market, consideration was taken regarding the funding as well as the uniqueness of the classical music composition environment which involves lengthy specialist training as well as commissioned live performances which are often only performed once.

About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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