A famous Ravel piece
Pavane pour une infante defunte (Pavane for a Dead Princess)
Quotes from http://www.answers.com/topic/maurice-ra
During his schooling in Paris, Ravel joined with a number of innovative young composers who referred to themselves as the "Apaches" because of their wild abandon. The group was well known for its drunken revelry.
Ravel was not religious and was probably an atheist. He disliked the overtly religious themes of other composers, such as Richard Wagner, and instead preferred to look to classical mythology for inspiration.
Ravel never married, but he did have several long-running relationships. He was also known to frequent the bordellos of Paris.
During the First World War Ravel was not allowed to enlist because of his age and weak health and instead he became an ambulance driver.
Ravel recreated the dignified, processional character of the pavan in his Pavane pour une infante défunte, but admitted devising the title just because he was pleased by the sound of the words. The music’s elegant simplicity recalls not only a stately Spanish Renaissance court, but also the pastoral serenity of classical civilization.
The standard Ravel photos :
Ravel piccies -
Younger Ravel :
Ravel as a child
Potential slash -
"His two piano concertos in many ways reflect the style of Gershwin."
And from George Gershwin's side - (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_Got_Rhyt
Gershwin was influenced very much by French composers of the early twentieth century. Upon meeting composer Maurice Ravel, Gershwin asked him of the possibility of becoming a student of composition under the master. Ravel is said to have replied, "Why should you be a second-rate Ravel when you can be a first-rate Gershwin?" Ravel was already quite impressed with the ability of Gershwin, commenting, "Personally I find jazz most interesting: the rhythms, the way the melodies are handled, the melodies themselves. I have heard of George Gershwin's works and I find them intriguing." (Mawer 42) The orchestrations in Gershwin's symphonic works often seem similar to those of Ravel; likewise, Ravel's two piano concertos evince an influence of Gershwin. He also asked Igor Stravinsky for lessons; when Stravinsky heard how much Gershwin earned, he replied "How about you give me some lessons?"