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Svetislav Stančić (Composer, Arranger)

Born: 1895 - Zagreb, Croatia (former Yugoslavia)
Died: 1970 - Zagreb, Croatia (former Yugoslavia)

The Croatian pianist, composer and music pedagogue, Svetislav Stančić, started learning music in 1909, and finished the Croatian Music Institute’s Music School in 1914. In 1918 he left for Berlin where he was taking private lessons in piano with Heinrich Barth and Conrad Ansorge until 1922, while studying composition under Ferruccio Busoni at the Berlin Arts Academy. His studies under the Italian composer and pianist seem to had left the greatest impression on Stančić which will reflect in all his ensuing artistic and pedagogical activities.

Svetislav Stančić then returned to Zagreb where he became the professor and then head of the piano department at the Royal Academy of Music. Ever since 1915, and especially after returning to Zagreb, Stančić had developed an intensive piano career, performing profiled evening programs with his compositions and the works of other Croatian and international composers, creating special thematic and authorial evenings where he interpreted pieces by great masters and performing in different chamber ensembles. In 1927 he dedicated himself exclusively to pedagogical work at the Zagreb Music Academy, all until 1941 when he was suspended and then retired, and then again from 1945 until finally retiring in 1965 - both times as a professor and head of the Piano Department.

As in his previous pianist career, through his pedagogical work Svetislav Stančić brought principles of professionalism and high artistic standards into Croatian cultural milieu, and these reflected both his education and his personal character. He educated numerous generations of distinguished Croatian pianists, among which some developed remarkable (international) careers, such as Ranko Filjak, Pavica Gvozdić, Vladimir Krpan, Jurica Murai and Stjepan Radić. His approach to teaching is best described by one of his students, a pianist and a composer, the late Ivo Maček (1914-2002): “He persistently dismissed all that is unnatural both in technical and in interpretative sense, all that is artificial and that did not naturally come from the piece of art itself, and that remained the sole basis of his efforts. On the other hand (...) he always tolerated and acknowledged those realizations which did not conform completely to his own views, if he sensed these were a result of honest artistic intentions and contained the credibility characteristic of strong artistic personalities (...).”

"I started my career as a pianist and a composer. However, I simultaneously taught as well. Finally, I came to realize that I can’t do both, that one would impair the other, be it pianistic art and composition, or teaching. In 1927 I stopped being a pianist and a composer and dedicated myself to teaching alone. I think I made the right choice.” - Svetislav Stančić

Source: EPTA - International Piano Competition Svetislav Stančić Website (Excerpt from a longer article by Ladislav Šaban, regular member of Croatian Academy of Arts and Science)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (September 2011)

Svetislav Stančić: Short Biography | Piano Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

EPTA - International Piano Competition Svetislav Stančić: About Svetislav Stancic..




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