Maurice Ravel


International opinion in the 1920s and '30s held Maurice Ravel to be France's greatest living composer, and he remains one of the most popular French composers of all time today. Ravel was 14 years old when he entered the Conservatoire de Paris, and he later received instruction from Gabriel Fauré. His ballet music Daphnis et Chloé (1912) was commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev. Standing out among his orchestra works are his best known piece, Bolero (1928), and La Valse (1920). He was one of the first to understand how audio recording could help bring his music to a significantly larger audience. He worked in many genres, writing music for piano as well as ballet scores, chamber music, operas and song cycles.