Maurice Ravel, born on March 7th 1875 in Ciboure, Basses-Pyrénées, is one of the 20th century composers who worked less as destroyers than as renewers of traditional forms and techniques. His great role model was Mozart, but he likewise had great admiration for Schubert, Mendelssohn, Rimsky-Korsakov, Stravinsky, Schönberg and the French composers from Bizet and Gounod all the way to Debussy and Satie. Ravel used the music of different epochs and countries as a source of inspiration for his own musical language, a an ever-changing variety ranging between sensual sound and calculation, tonality and atonality, refined harmony and catchy rhythms. In all of this he did not seek for a subjective, emotionally laden statement. His music should be understood far more as art for art’s sake, as attested by his orchestral works such as "Bolero", "La valse" or "Daphnis et Chloé", as well as his many compositions for piano. "Ravel’s art strove neither for passion nor for truth, but rather toward a ‘contemplation of beauty’ from the satisfaction of the spirit through the joy of listening.” (Arbie Orenstein)
Maurice Ravel died on December 28th 1937 in Paris.