Franjo Štefanović (March 12, 1879 in Petrovaradin – January 26, 1924 in Petrovaradin) was a composer, music pedagogue, poet, school administrator and organist.
Franjo was born in Petrovaradin on March 12, 1879. He attended school in his hometown, then in Zemun, Osijek and Zagreb. He finished teacher training in Osijek in 1897. He composed his first compositions there, but also in places in Srem where he was a teacher: Stari Slankamen, Čerević and Petrovaradin. He was an organist in the Roman Catholic churches of this part of Srem, and for the longest time in the churches of Petrovaradin. Returning to Petrovaradin in 1906, he continued his teaching and music-pedagogical work. From 1907, for the next eight years, he was the conductor of the Croatian Singing Society “Neven”. He wrote 71 compositions for male choirs and 37 for mixed choirs. His 22 children’s compositions have also been preserved. He also wrote about twenty piano fugues and a short piano piece “Good night”. He wrote 17 church works, including five masses, along with three more harmonizations.
Štefanović wrote and performed the first opera “Fairy Mountain” with his students in 1918. Štefanović composed the opera “Queen of the Forest” in 1919 based on the story of Mihovil Pajc, which became his most popular work and the world’s first opera for children.
He died in Petrovaradin on January 26, 1924.