26.04.–05.05.2024 / Tartu
Eduard Tubin

Eduard Tubin (1905–1982) is one of the most outstanding Estonian composers throughout our history, and one of the greatest symphonic composers of Estonia. In 1930, he graduated from the composition class of Heino Eller at the Tartu Music College. That year he also began working at the Vanemuine Theatre as an accompanist, then as a conductor, and in 1941 he became the chief conductor of the Vanemuine Theatre. He was also a choral conductor. Although his days were busy with conducting, during those years Tubin became a composer whose works were eagerly anticipated and also performed soon after their completion. In 1944, Tubin fled to Sweden and found work at the historic royal Drottningholm Theatre, preparing the scores of old operas and ballets for performances. He was a prolific and versatile composer who wrote music in various genres from prelude to symphony, solo and choral song to requiem, chamber music to stage works – receiving equal acclaim for his vocal and instrumental works. His two symphonies (the 11th remained unfinished), two violin concertos and other orchestral works belong to the crème de la crème of classical Estonian music. He is the author of two operas (Barbara von Tisenhusen, Reigi õpetaja (The Parson of Reigi)) and of the first full-length ballet Kratt (The Goblin); especially in the ballet, he was organically and fascinatingly able to combine folk and art music. His oeuvre also includes remarkable piano works, such as Virmaliste sonaat (Northern Lights Sonata) or Ballaad Mart Saare teemale chaconne’i vormis (Ballad on a Theme by Mart Saar). Tubin was a composer who loved historic genres and forms, also folk music, and combined them with contemporary sound. Kolm prelüüdi (Three Preludes, 1934/1935) is among his earlier works and reflects an interest in Estonian themes.