Maurice RAVEL (1875 - 1937)
Ravel is extremely well known for Boléro, his one-movement orchestral Schéhérazade, and his first piece, Pavane pour une infante défunte. Like Debussy, he created a musical style inspired by Impressionism, especially paintings by Monet.
Ravel was one of the 20th century's original and most influential composers.
He enrolled at the Paris Conservatory, and continued to study with the composer Gabriel Fauré. He later met Stravinsky through the avant-garde artistic group "Les Apaches » of which he was a member. A few years before the First World War, his ballet Daphnis and Chloë was performed in Paris.
He volunteered to fight in the 1914-18 war, was rejected as medically unfit but still joined the army as a truck driver. After the war he suffered from insomnia and nervous debility, but his career flourished nevertheless.
After Debussy died, in 1918, Ravel's own style leaned towards the Neo-classical, along with Stravinsky and other composers of the period.
From 1933 his recurring insomnia made him increasingly ill. It was thought he had a brain tumour, but an operation showed no sign of one. He died in Paris in 1937 from Pick's disease with brain damage.