Bela and Ditta Bartok, 1939. VARIETAS Born: October 31, 1903

Died: November 21, 1982

Married: Bela Bartok

Children: Peter Bartok

Ditta Pásztory-Bartók was a Hungarian Jewish pianist and the second wife of the composer Béla Bartók, who dedicated his Third Piano Concerto to her.

They were married in 1923 when she was 19 and he 43; she had been his piano student. She accompanied Bartok to Saranac Lake when his doctors suggested he come here for the summers of 1943 and '44, staying at the Sageman Cottage. While there, she practiced on the pianos at Saranac Lake High School, and gave at least two piano recitals there. She and Bela spent the summer of 1945, Bartok's last, in the little cabin at 89 1/2 Riverside Drive where he wrote his Third Piano Concerto, as a surprise birthday present for Ditta, and the Viola Concerto.

She appears as "Ditta Bartok, concert pianist" in a list of the faculty of the Deerwood Adirondack Music Center in an April 7, 1944, article on the camp in the Lake Placid News.

After her husband's death on September 26, 1945, Ditta returned to Budapest where she remained for the rest of her life. Ditta Pásztory-Bartók outlived Béla Bartók by 37 years, dying in Budapest in 1982, aged 79. Her husband's centenary had been celebrated the previous year. She is buried next to him in Budapest.

The Béla Bartók-Ditta Pásztory Prize is named in their honor.

Source: Wikipedia

Lake Placid News, August 11, 1944


The regular monthly meeting of the Adirondack Women's Division of the Jewish Congress was held in the Jewish Community Center in Saranac Lake Tuesday evening. The guest speaker of the evening was Mrs. Kurt Blumenfeld of Palestine who is a past president of W. I. Z. O. In addition Mrs. Bela Bartok, the wife of the famous Hungarian composer, played several piano selections.

External link:

  • New York Times, May 11, 1969, From Bela to Ditta, The story of Ditta's recording of Bartok's Piano Concerto No. 3