1875-1937

"We should always remember that sensitiveness and emotion constitute the real content of a work of art."

Best remembered today for Bolero, Ravel was a popular classical composer during his lifetime. He carried on affairs with Spanish pianist Ricardo Viñes and Spanish composer Manuel de Falla simultaneously, although he did not flaunt his homosexuality in public. Viñes, known as the teacher of gay composer Francis Poulenc, championed the piano compositions of Ravel, performing the premieres of many of them.

Ravel collected books about bizarre sexual practices and hid a secret stash of pornography. He would sometimes entertain the members of the all-male society of Les Apaches (hooligans) by dressing as a ballerina, complete with tutu and falsies, while dancing on pointe. Still, there is no evidence that he had a lasting personal relationship with anyone of either sex. Several biographers claim that his sole emotional relationship was with his mother. [link]

Ravel sitting at a grand piano in a wallpapered room, smoking a cigarette.