Stančić initially studied piano in Zagreb and then moved to Berlin where he studied with Karl Heinrich Barth, Conrad Ansorge, and Ferruccio Busoni, who also taught him composition. Stančić had a career as a concert pianist, and later he became legendary Professor of Piano at the Music Academy in Zagreb. He was a member of the Yugoslav Academy of Sciences and Arts and a corresponding member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts. In 1960 he received the Vladimir Nazor Award for lifetime achievement in music.
- 150 godina Hrvatske akademije znanosti i umjetnosti 1861. - 2011 (PDF) (in Croatian). Zagreb: Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts. 2011. p. 216. ISBN 978-953-154-961-5. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
- "Stančić, Svetislav". Proleksis enciklopedija (in Croatian). Pro leksis / CARNet. Retrieved 2012-03-21.
- Moritz von Bredow: Klang gewordener Geist. Branka Musulin zum 100. Geburtstag. Eine Hommage. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung v. 14. August 2017, S. 10.
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