January 20 and 21, 1928

Maurice Ravel appeared with the Orchestra on one occasion, on January 20 and 21, 1928, conducting a program of his works, including Le tombeau de Couperin, the second suite from Daphnis and Chloe, Shéhérazade (with soprano Lisa Roma), and La valse. According to the review in the Chicago Tribune, “the audience cheered M. Ravel again and again, and at the end of the program the orchestra, incited thereto by the audience and by the music it had been playing, gave him a prolonged and enthusiastic fanfare.”

However, the real news of his appearance actually involved his shoes. The story is recounted in Madeleine Goss’s 1940 book Bolero: the Life of Maurice Ravel:

“Just as Ravel was dressing for the concert he discovered that his evening shoes had been left in one of the trunks at the station. This was a major calamity. Wear his day shoes? Jamais de la vie! Maurice Ravel must be correctly—impeccably—dressed or he would not appear in public.

“In desperation, Mme. Roma . . . dashed down in a taxi—rummaged through the trunks—back to the auditorium—the evening was saved.”