Tytus Woyciechowski

Tytus Sylwester Woyciechowski (31 December 1808 – 23 March 1879) was a Polish political activist, agriculturalist, and patron of art. He was an early friend of the Polish composer Frédéric Chopin.

Tytus Woyciechowski, c. 1875
Memorial to Chopin's visit to Poturzyn

The spelling of Woyciechowski's surname is an archaic version of the more common "Wojciechowski", with a "j" instead of a "y".

LifeEdit

Woyciechowski was born in Lemberg, Galicia (now Lviv, Ukraine).

Friend of ChopinEdit

In his youth Woyciechowski was a fellow student of Chopin at the Warsaw Lyceum, boarding with the Chopin family. He went on to study law at Warsaw University.

Chopin dedicated to him his Op. 2 Variations on "Là ci darem la mano". In 1830 Chopin visited Woyciechowski at his estate in Poturzyn, which Woyciechowski had inherited from his mother.[1]

Woyciechowski acted as a confidant during Chopin's infatuation with the singer Konstancja Gładkowska.[2]

Some of Chopin's correspondence with Tytus in this period has given rise to conjecture (which Chopin's 2018 biographer Alan Walker is "much inclined to doubt") that Chopin's friendship with Tytus may have been homoerotic, at least on Chopin's part.[3]

Woyciechowski accompanied Chopin in his 1830 journey to Austria but, on learning of the November 1830 Uprising, returned to Warsaw to take part in the fighting. He became a second lieutenant and was awarded the highest Polish military decoration, the Virtuti Militari.[4] While the two never met thereafter, they continued to correspond.[5]

Later lifeEdit

Woychiechowski married Countess Aloysia Poletylo, by whom he had four children – their second son being named Fryderyk, after Chopin.[6]

Woyciechowski dedicated himself to agriculture, pioneered the introduction of crop rotation in Poland, and in 1847 founded one of the first sugar factories in the country. In 1861–62 he was an active member of the White Party, which took part in the failed January 1863 Uprising.[7]

He died in Poturzyn, now Poland.

The Woyciechowski collection of Chopin memorabilia was destroyed by fire in 1914, and the family manor house at Poturzyn was destroyed during the Second World War.[8]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Woyciechowski (a)
  2. ^ Zamoyski (2010), pp. 55–56.
  3. ^ Alan Walker, Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times, 2018, pp. 156–58.
  4. ^ Walker (2018), p. 182
  5. ^ Woyciechowski (a)
  6. ^ Walker (2018), p. 158
  7. ^ Woyciechowski (a)
  8. ^ Woyciechowski (b)

SourcesEdit

  • "Tytus Woyciechowski" (a) on Chopin Institute website (in Polish), accessed 12.2.2014
  • "Tytus Woyciechowski" (b) on Chopin Kalejdoskop website, accessed 12.2.2014.
  • Walker, Alan (2018). Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 9780571348558
  • Zamoyski, Adam (2010). Chopin, Prince of the Romantics, London: HarperPress. ISBN 978-0-007-35182-4.