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Family Writings

Divorced & Retired

Certificate of absolution of marriage

In January of 1982, two major events took place in Morawetz' life. After 24 years of an unhappy marriage, Morawetz and his wife separated, and two years later were divorced.

In the same month, Morawetz turned 65 and his imminent retirement was honoured at the University of Toronto by a concert of his music performed by members of the music faculty. The concert took place on January 16, and the program included his Flute Sonata, the premičre of his Violin Sonata #2, his String Quartet #2, the Sonata for Brass Quintet, and several of his songs.

Although Morawetz had looked forward to being able to compose full-time upon his retirement, this sudden change of circumstances in his life took some adjusting to. He was now alone in his home. His daughter was at university, and moved to Vancouver upon graduation, and his son moved in with his mother, and later moved to Europe to study and work. For the first time in his life, Morawetz lived as a bachelor, and his daughter initially received many phone calls with questions such as: how do you run the laundry machine? How do you cook an artichoke? After a while, Morawetz settled into a routine of frequenting a different neighbourhood restaurant each evening, and soon all the local store owners greeted him by name and knew his shopping habits. If he was absent from his customary visits for a few days due to illness or travel, he would be welcomed back by a gratuitous cup of coffee or some other gracious act. His neighbours checked up on him periodically, as well as one or two of the local shopkeepers.

Gradually he settled into enjoying his new life, composing prolifically in the newfound peace of his home. He spread out, using the extra bedrooms his children once occupied as offices for his Aeneas music publishing and business correspondence. As professor emeritus at the university, he retained an office for a couple years, teaching the occasional course just to "stay in touch with the young musical crowd". But soon he was composing full-time, as well as keeping busy travelling, giving special lectures and appearing at many events at which he was garnered various awards. He was elated with his new lifestyle, enjoying the freedom to devote his creativity full-time to composing, until he fell ill in 1995, and stopped composing altogether.