The fame Tubin had achieved in his homeland did little for him in his adopted country, and he was forced to prepare music (mostly the German classics) for the Drottningholm Palace Theater in Stockholm for most of his remaining years. Although he became a Swedish citizen in 1967, Tubin had very little contact with Swedish musical society, and it was only with the award of an Atterberg Fellowship in 1977 -- just five years before his death -- that his music began to earn recognition outside of the Soviet Union, where his operas and the ballet Kratt had remained in the musical repertoire.
Tubin, known during his lifetime as a composer for the stage, gained posthumous recognition for his orchestral music. His symphonic output is substantial, comprising ten complete symphonies and an incomplete 11th. Of these, the Fifth Symphony (1947), written shortly after his emigration to Sweden, has been the most frequently performed. This work, like most of Tubin's instrumental compositions, draws heavily on the Estonian folk music tradition, even incorporating an ancient Estonian hymn into the slow movement, while simultaneously adding a Slavic flavor which, however modified by the decades, clearly manifests its debt to the Dvorák tradition. Tubin's knowledge of folk dance tradition (acquired during a period of study at the Museum of Ethnography in Tartu during the Second World War) served him well during the creation of the lighthearted, entertaining Estonian Dance Suite.