1855 in music
- February 17 – Franz Liszt gives the first performance of his Piano Concerto No. 1, conducted by Hector Berlioz.
- March–June – Richard Wagner stays in London to conduct a series of concerts.
- July 5 – Jacques Offenbach inaugurates performances of operettas as director of his own theater, the Théâtre des Bouffes-Parisiens.
- Late autumn – Mily Balakirev meets Mikhail Glinka in Saint Petersburg. Their friendship cements the former's ambition to foster Russian nationalist music.
- November 27 – Piano Trio No. 1 of Brahms is given its first public performance at Dodsworth's Hall in Manhattan on Broadway at 11th Street. It is the earliest performance of Brahms' music in the United States
- December 3 – The Piano Trio in G minor by Bedřich Smetana is given its first public performance in Prague.
- Tchaikovsky takes private music lessons with Rudolph Kündinger, who tells Tchaikovsky's father that he saw nothing to suggest a future composer.
- Black Dyke Mills Band re-formed after failure of its immediate predecessor, the Queenshead Band in Queensbury, West Yorkshire, England.
- Stephen Foster – "Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming"
- George Martin Lane – "The Lone Fish Ball"
- Caroline Norton – "Juanita"
- words Septimus Winner (as "Alice Hawthorne") music Richard Milburn – "Listen to the Mocking Bird"
- Georges Bizet – Symphony in C
- Franz Berwald – Piano Concerto in D
- Eduard Franck – String Quartet in F minor op. 49 ()
- Charles Gounod – Symphony No. 1 in D
- Franz Liszt – Prelude and Fugue on B-A-C-H
- Anton Rubinstein – Quintet for Piano and Winds Op. 55 (probably from this year)
- Camille Saint-Saëns
- Six Bagatelles for piano, Op. 3
- Quintet for Piano and Strings , Op. 14
- Bedřich Smetana – Piano Trio in G minor, Op. 15
- George Frederick Bristow – Rip van Winkle
- Fromental Halévy – L'inconsolable
- Jacques Offenbach – one-act operettas
- Giuseppe Verdi – Les Vêpres Siciliennes
- Po-ca-hon-tas, or The Gentle Savage (Music: James Gaspard Maeder, Book and Lyrics: John Brougham) Broadway production opened Wallack's Lyceum Theatre on December 24 and transferred to the Bowery Theatre on June 28, 1856. Featuring John Brougham as John Smith.
- January 20 – Ernest Chausson, composer (d. 1899)
- February 18 – Vera Timanova, Russian pianist
- May 9 – Julius Röntgen, composer (d. 1932)
- May 11 – Anatoly Lyadov, conductor, composer and music teacher (d. 1914)
- July 25 – Edward Solomon, pianist, conductor and composer (died 1895)
- August 2 – Cornélie van Zanten, opera singer and teacher (d. 1946)
- August 27 – Domenico Salvatori, castrato singer (d. 1909)
- September 9 – Michele Esposito, pianist and composer (d. 1929)
- November 6 – Paul Kalisch, singer (d. 1946)
- December 7 – Gunhild Rosén, ballerina
- January 25 – Gaetano Rossi, librettist (b. 1774)
- February 1 – Claus Harms, researcher of Lutheran hymns (b. 1778)
- February 27 – Louis Lambillotte, composer and music palaeographer (b. 1796)
- March 17 – Ramon Carnicer, conductor and composer (b. 1789)
- April 12 – Pedro Albéniz, pianist and composer (b. 1795)
- September 27 – August Lanner, conductor and composer (b. 1835)
- November 9 – Domenico Cosselli, operatic bass-baritone (b. 1801)
- November 21 – Olea Crøger, collector of Norwegian folk tunes (b. 1801)
- December 2 – Frédéric Bérat, songwriter and composer (b. 1801)
- Marie Antoinette Petersén, singer and member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music (b. 1771)