A composer and pianist; born 23 July 1884 in St Petersburg; died 21 August 1966 in Chodzież.
Szeluto started to learn piano at the age of nine. He attended the classical gymnasium in Saratov and took lessons of music with Stanislaw Eksner, the director of the local conservatory. He then studied law at Warsaw University in 1902-5 as well as continuing his music education at the conservatory. He completed theory of music studies in Michał Biernacki's class in 1903 and, having passed Marek Zawirski's two-year harmony course examination, was accepted to Zygmunt Noskowski's class. He also studied instrumentation under Roman Statkowski. In 1905 he set up (with Karol Szymanowski, Grzegorz Fitelberg and Ludomir Różycki) the "Młoda Polska" Young Polish Composers' Company - a group whose purpose was to promote the new Polish music abroad. It did so until 1912. Meanwhile he studied piano under Leopold Godowski in Berlin in 1906-9. In 1909 he was appointed professor at Berlin's Mozart Conservatory. He returned to Russia in autumn 1910 and graduated from law in Dorpat. From 1911 to 1918 he worked as an examining magistrate in Remontne near Astrakhan. He took an active part in the October Revolution in 1917.
When Poland regained independence in 1918, Szeluto moved to Warsaw and got a job at the Ministry of Justice. For the following fifteen years he managed the ministerial department of court statistics. He moved to Slupca in 1934 and became a notary. During the Nazi occupation he had to leave his villa, stayed in a camp in Łódź for three weeks and then managed to get to Warsaw. He settled there, but after the war he returned to Slupca and became a magistrate with the local court. In 1946-7 he served as chairman of the local Polish Socialist Party committee and in 1949 sat on the International Committee of Intellectuals for Peace. He suffered a depression in 1951, caused by the testing war experience, loss of his family members, and loneliness.
Szeluto was a member of the Polish Composers Union (from 1949) and of the Authors, Composers and Publishers Union.
Author: Małgorzata Kosińska, Polish Music Information Center, Polish Composers' Union, October 2006
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