"At age 14 he was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire. Completing his piano studies, he returned to study composition with Gabriel Fauré, writing the important piano piece Jeux d’eau (completed 1901) and a string quartet.
Careful and precise, Ravel possessed great gifts as an orchestrator, and his works are universally admired for their superb craftsmanship; he has remained the most widely popular of all French composers."
The first video here is a piano roll of Ravel himself playing his famous Pavane and has provoked a strange discussion in the comments in both French and English arguing for and against his ability as a piano player and then whether the piece ought to be a lament or a jolly dance - (Ravel n'était pas un virtuose (ce qu'était Debussy par contre) Horriblement joué est vraiment exagéré. C'est tout de même un sacré document qui donne une idée de ce que voulait Ravel pour l'exécution de cette oeuvre, SON oeuvre.)