Mihailo Mika Živanović

(17 February  1928 — 18 July 1989)

This is the life story of one of the best, and also the most inventive Yugoslav and Serbian clarinetist, an accomplished saxophonist, composer, arranger and conductor Mihailo Mika Živanović called Žuti (Yellow), who was, whether intentionally or unintentionally, unjustly “erased” and “forgotten.”

Perhaps the story of Žuti is just a part of the correction of that injustice and our collective forgetfulness and the beginning of the recovery and placement of  things right  to the place in our musical life which belongs to him


Mihailo Mika Živanović – Žuti  (Yellow) was born in Prota Mateja street in Belgrade in 1928.

His first contact with music, dating back to the 1936, was when the father of an eight-year old Mika enrolled him in primary music school ”Stanković’‘ where he was first taught to play the piano.

Two years later, twelve-year-old pianist Mihailo-Mika Živanović began to learn to play the clarinet.

The year 1942 was crucial in his life because, upon hearing the sound of the clarinet through Radio London, he realized that this was what he wanted. And since then, fascinated by the beauty of jazz, he had regularly visited Concert Hall in Belgrade and listened to jazz concerts of then our masters (Elija Genić, Mladen Guteša, Vojin Popović and others), as well as of the foreign performers (Kari Burnett, German singer).

Mihailo attended the Third Male Grammar School and Secondary Music School “Stankovic”, the piano department. He then enrolled at the Faculty of Sciences in Belgrade, department of chemistry, and left it for the music before graduation.

After the war, in 1945, Mihailo continued to learn the piano in Secondary Music School „Stanković“.

The biggest turning point in his life happened in 1946 when he saw and bought his first clarinet in a consignment shop. Since he possessed a good knowledge of music, he began to practice day and night, this time – clarinet.

At the age of eighteen, inspired by the music of Glenn Miller and Woody Herman Orchestra, he made a firm decision to devote his life  to the clarinet and music and graduated the clarinet from Secondary Music School “Slavenski”  in the class of professor Franjo Partlić.


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