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Danuta Lutosławska

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Danuta Lutosławska (1911-1994), maiden name Dygat, name from first marriage Bogusławska, wife of Witold Lutosławski, daughter of the architect Antoni Dygat and sister of the writer Stanisław Dygat.

Witold Lutosławski met his future wife at the time of the occupation, in the Warsaw restaurant Aria – the first in which he played in the duo with Panufnik. They were married in 1946. The composer simultaneously took on the responsibilities of stepfather in relation to her son from the first marriage, Marcin Bogusławski. According to mutually confirmed statements, the Lutosławskis were a specially harmonious couple. Danuta Lutosławska consciously abandoned her own professional ambitions, fully submitting herself to the demands of her husband’s creative endeavour. The Lutosławskis rarely parted, had the regular habit of common reading, and in their leisure time went sailing on the Zegrze Reservoir and the Masurian Lakeland.

Zofia Owińska made the remark that “I think that never in my life did I meet another couple so mutually sincere, so specially tied together. (...) Danusia (dim. of Danuta – trans. note) always behaved modestly, had incredibly good manners, and what I always found endearing, a disarming manner of smiling and laughing”. The composer himself said to Irina Nikolska: “Danusia... studied architecture. Unfortunately, when she was expecting her baby, she withdrew from her studies and never returned. There remained her interests and talents. This is also why she designed my studio, and she did it phenomenally! (...) Apart from this, from the rather early years of our marriage Danusia began to write clean copies of my pieces. This of course greatly facilitated things for me, because I could design the graphic arrangements of all my scores to be published by Chester. I wrote the scores quite neatly with a pencil, and I had already calculated the whole horizontal arrangement according to my wishes. From this, Danusia made carbon copies, which served as matrices for the printer. This was of great help to me, because I was certain of the final effect. One never has the same certitude when the material is given to an engraver...”.

“I decided to live longer than Witek (dim. of Witold – trans. note), because he needs me”, said Danuta Lutosławska according to Krzysztof Jakowicz. Danuta Lutosławska died two months after her husband. They rest together in the Powązki Cemetary.


kt / trans. mk