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This article is about music-related events in 1865.
- January 1 – Hector Berlioz completes his Memoirs.
- April 20 – Crosby's Opera House (Chicago, Illinois) opens
- April 28 – Giacomo Meyerbeer's opera L'Africaine is premiered in Paris at the Grand Opéra, after the composer's death.
- June 10 – Richard Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde debuts in Munich at the Königliches Hof- und Nationaltheater.
- September 9 – Franz von Suppé's operetta Die schöne Galathee debuts in Vienna's Carl-Theater.
- September 11 – Johann Strauss II conducts a performance of 'Characteristic Dances' by Peter Tchaikovsky at Pavlovsk Park. It is the first public performance of Tchaikovsky's music. The piece would later become the 'Dances of the Hay Maidens', in The Voyevoda.
- December 17 – Franz Schubert's Unfinished Symphony debuts in Vienna, 43 years after of its composition.
- Philipp Scharwenka relocates to Berlin.
- Joseph Parry is admitted to the Gorsedd of bards at the National Eisteddfod of Wales.
Published popular songs
- "Jeff in Pettycoats" by Henry Tucker
- "Marching Through Georgia" w.m. Henry Clay Work
- "Roll, Jordan, Roll" traditional spiritual
- "The Ship That Never Returned" w.m. Henry Clay Work
- Elfrida Andrée – Piano Quintet in E minor
- Johannes Brahms
- Anton Bruckner – Trauungschor ("Wedding chorus")
- Felix Draeseke – Lacrimosa
- Antonín Dvořák
- Gabriel Fauré – Cantique de Jean Racine
- Edvard Grieg
- Franz Liszt – Missa Choralis
- Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov – Symphony No. 1
- Camille Saint-Saëns – Serenade in E flat major, Op. 15
- Johan Svendsen
- String Quartet, Op. 1
- 2 Songs (Male Chorus), Op. 2
- Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
- François Bazin – Le voyage en Chine
- Giacomo Meyerbeer – L'Africaine
- Stanislaw Moniuszko – The Haunted Manor
- Camille Saint-Saëns – Le timbre d'argent
- Richard Wagner – Tristan und Isolde
- Orpheus In The Underworld, London production opened at Her Majesty's Theatre on December 26 and ran for 76 performances
- May 9 – August de Boeck, Belgium Composer (d. 1937)
- June 9
- July 21 – Robert Kahn, composer (d. 1951)
- August 10 – Alexander Glazunov, composer (d. 1936)
- October 1 – Paul Dukas, composer (d. 1935)
- October 15 – Charles W. Clark, American baritone (d. 1925)
- December 3 – Gustav Jenner, composer (d. 1920)
- December 8 – Jean Sibelius, composer (d. 1957)
- December 25 – Fay Templeton, US singer and actress
- January 23 – Josef Leopold Zvonař, composer and music critic (b. 1824)
- January 27 – Giuseppe Rocca, violin maker (b. 1807)
- January 28 – Felice Romani, librettist for Donizetti and Bellini (b. 1788)
- February 20 – Pierre-Louis Dietsch, French composer and conductor (b. 1808)
- April 1 – Giuditta Pasta, operatic soprano (b. 1797)
- August 1 – François Xavier Bazin, bow-maker (b. 1824) (cholera)
- September 10 – George Linley, poet and composer (b. 1798)
- October 8 – Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst, violinist and composer (b. 1814)
- October 12 – William Vincent Wallace, composer (b. 1812)
- December 6 – Sebastián Iradier, composer (b. 1809)
- December 18 – Francisco Manuel da Silva, songwriter and music professor (b. 1795)
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