St. Tatiana Day in Russia (Celebrated with a Jazz Improvisation)

Every year 25th of January marks the Day of St. Tatiana, acknowledged throughout Russia as a Students’ Day. On this day in 1755 the Moscow State University was founded, the date being symbolical for Tatiana was the name of an aunt of Ivan Shuvalov, one of father-founders of the University. Russian students successfully emulated their European predecessors, the vaganti, by getting drunk on this day whereby a saying has been going since: «On Tatiana’s Day all students are merry«.

At the Moscow State University they usually hold a traditional event on this day, with medovukha (a honey-based alcoholic beverage) poured to students by the Rector himself. This is continued with a special concert dedicated to the student brother- and sisterhood and singing the hymn of the University, Gaudeamus igitur.

Last year I attended a clarinet concert at the Rakhmaninov Hall of the Moscow State Conservatoire. Several beautiful musical pieces were offered to the audience, but many of us were especially taken by this jazz improvisation… which turned out to be named «Tatiana» after a composer’s wife. I hope you enjoy it.


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