Stevan Stojanovic Mokranjac mason, melograph, classic Serbian music, and her most prominent figure on a transition from the 19th century to the 20th century, a native of Negotin. He is also credited with the introduction of the Serbian national spirit in artistic music.
He was born on January 9, 1856 in Negotin. The ancestors of Stevan Stojanović originate from the area around Prilep in Macedonia, from where they moved to the village of Mokranje. He finished high school in Zajecar; he enrolled in a natural-mathematical department of the Great School. As a high school student, he was a member of the Serbian Singing Society. With the help of the Society, in 1879, he went to music studies in Munich, with J. Reinberg. He was temporarily interrupted with the studies in 1883, but continued in 1884 in Rome, near Paris, and from 1885 to 1887 at the Conservatory in Leipzig.
In 1884, he became the choir leader of the singing society Kornelije Stankovic, and in 1887 the conductor of the Belgrade Singing Society. From 1887 to 1900 he worked as a music teacher in the First Belgrade gymnasium and the First Nis Gymnasium „Stevan Sremac“, and from 1901 as a lecturer of the theological chanting. Together with Stanislav Binicki and Cvetko Manojlovic, he is the founder of the first permanent music school (1899) – Serbian Music School in Belgrade (today’s name „Mokranjac“), whose director was until his death. His first merit was the first string quartet in Serbia. In 1906, he was elected as a correspondent member of the Serbian Royal Academy (today: Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts).
His most famous works are certainly Rukoveti – fifteen groups of folk-based songs with motifs from different parts of Serbia, Bosnia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Primorski napevi, witty scerce Kozar, as well as music for Orthodox worship: the magnificent Liturgy, from which the most famous is Heruvim song, the most significant performance of choral music of the Serbs, Opelo in fis-mol, Three stats, I praise God for you, Gloried be Saint Sava …
He also worked as a melograph: his famous records of folk songs and games with melodies from Levč, as well as two significant collections of records with Serbian church tones: Osmoglasnik and Strano pjenije.
He died on September 28, 1914 in Skopje. His last work is „The Untold Song“. Centennial of his death was marked in 2014.