Maurice Ravel -The Swiss Watchmaker

Maurice Ravel was born on March 7, 1875, in the small fishing village of Ciboure in the Basque region, near the Franco-Spanish border.  His father, Pierre-Joseph, was a Frenchman of Swiss descent. Pierre-Joseph, a distinguished engineer, met and fell in love with his future wife, a young and beautiful Basque, Marie Delouart, at the time she worked on the Spanish railways.  A few months after Maurice's birth, the family moved from Ciboure to Paris. The parents of Maurice Ravel, Pierre-Joseph Ravel and Marie Delouart. Maurice had a happy childhood. The parents encouraged their two children - Edouard was born in 1878 - to follow their vocation. Maurice's inclination was music. He started music lessons at the age of seven.  Unlike the parents of other composers, Pierre-Joseph viewed positively the prospect of a musical career and sent Maurice to the France's most important musical college, the Conservatoire de Paris in 1889. In the same year, the Paris Exhibition brought toget

Hector Berlioz - Events in brief

A caricature of Berlioz, whose music was considered modern and unusual.

1803 Hector Berlioz was born in 11 October in the commune of La Côte-Saint-André, France.
1815 He falls in love with his neighbor's 18-year-old daughter, Estelle Dubœuf.
1820 He's going to Paris for medical studies.
1826 He is admitted to the Paris Conservatory.
1830 First performance of the "Symphonie fantastique", wins the "Rome Prize" and goes to Italy.
1833 He's marrying Irish actress Harriet Smithson.
1834 His only son Louis is born.
1846 First visit to London.
1854 Harriet dies, marries his long-time mistress Marie Recio.
1863 First performance of the opera "Les Troyens".
1864 Marie dies, renews contact with Estelle, who is now 67 years old.
1869 Dies March 8 in Paris.

  • When Berlioz learned that Camille was marrying someone else, he vowed to go back to Paris and kill Camille and her mother, who had written him the news. He procured a maid's uniform to disguise himself and a pair of pistols to complete his plans.
  • In 1834, the great violinist Paganini commissioned Berlioz to compose a solo viola work, but lost interest before it was completed - and Berlioz lost his reward. Later that year, Paganini listened to the work he had rejected at a Berlioz's concerto and, full of remorse, sent the composer 20,000 francs - money more than two years' wages.