Eduard Tubin

Tubin is recognised as an outstanding symphonist in Sweden and elsewhere and revered as the national composer of Estonia.

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Eduard Tubin was born in 1905 in Estonia, where he became one of the leading figures in musical life both as a conductor and as a composer with four symphonies, a ballet and numerous other works to his credit. In 1944 Tubin sought refuge in Sweden, as did thousands of Estonians. In Sweden most of his music was composed; he completed six more symphonies (and the first movement of an eleventh), a requiem, two operas, several concertos, solo pieces, choral works etc. Here he created his unique style, combining themes from Estonian folk music with the rich means of expression of contemporary music.

However, Tubin’s music was not played with any frequency. In Estonia it was periodically banned as a result of repressive cultural policies while in Sweden the preoccupation of the musical establishment with modernism effectively excluded composers writing in a more traditional style. The situation changed dramatically when Tubin’s supporter and friend Neeme Järvi emigrated from Estonia in 1980 to embark on an international conducting career.

In 1981 Järvi conducted the tenth symphony with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tubin enjoyed great personal success. Subsequently, other live performances were made and the BIS record company embarked on a major project recording Tubin’s complete orchestral music, as well as his complete piano music (1988), the complete music for violin, viola and piano (1992), and other chamber music.

For more information:

Selected works:

  • Symphony Nos. 1 - 10
  • Music for Strings
  • Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra
  • Suite on Estonian Dances
  • Concerto for Violin and Orchestra Nos. 1 and 2
  • Barbara von Tisenhusen - Opera
  • The Parson of Reigi - Opera