Born: March 7, 1875
Died: December 28, 1937
Most popular piece: Bolero (click here to listen)
Musical Era: Impressionistic
Interesting fact: He served in World War 1 as a truck driver
Maurice Ravel was born March 7,1875 in France. Ravel’s upbringing could be characterized by arts and culture, and music was definitely encouraged at a young age. At age 14, he entered the Paris Conservatory where he remained until he was about 32. While he was there, he wrote many of his well-known compositions and even tried winning the coveted Prix de Rome for his compositions. Instead of winning though, Ravel was told that his writing was too advanced, too out of the norm. So the conservatory expelled him!
Ravel was a both a leader, and a follower in the composition world. Ravel enjoyed following the basics of music writing, like those great composers like Bach and Beethoven before him. But Ravel was a leader though in that the harmonies that he used in his writing was different creating a whole different sound in music.
Ravel loved writing music and loved being with others who did as well. One of Ravel’s good friends was Claude Debussy and they often talked to each other about their compositions. But once fans of each composer started fighting, they decided to stop seeing each other. Ravel still went on to compose though and even had an American tour in which he gained a lot of international respect. Ravel died in France at the age of 62 from complications in brain surgery.