28 December: Remembering Thanpuying Puangroi Apaiwong on her Birth Anniversary
Thanpuying Puangroi Apaiwong (28 December 1914 – 17 August 2000) was a Thai composer, thought to be the first woman composer in Thailand. She is best known for the classic “Bua Kao” (“White Lotus”), which was awarded as “Song of Asia” by UNESCO in 1979 and made her a staple in the national repertoire.
Life and Career
Thanpuying Puangroi Apaiwong was born Mom Puangroi Sanit Wong in Bangkok in 1914. As a young girl, she learned to play guitar and piano. After graduating from the Wattana Wittaya Academy in 1934, she attended Trinity College London, where she studied music.
During the first half of the twentieth century, as foreign music like Western classical and jazz gained popularity, a new genre named Phleng Thai sakon (roughly translating to “international-style Thai music”) arose. The genre blended elements from traditional Thai music with instruments of Western classical, and Apaiwong became one of its leading artists. She composed music for plays and movies, for the royal family, and for special national occasions.
Apaiwong devoted her life to music, playing weekly for nearly 22 years with a group of classical musicians to raise funds for various educational institutions. She was also awarded the Performing Arts award by the Board of National Culture in 1986, as well as five royal decorations for her contributions.
Legacy of Thanpuying Puangroi Apaiwong
Her prolonged career in the music industry left numerous legacies behind. She was named a National Artist of Thailand for a musical performance by the Board of National Culture in 1986.
she is best known for the classic “Bua Kao” (“White Lotus”), which was awarded as “Song of Asia” by UNESCO in 1979. She also was commissioned to produce compositions for the Thai royal family and received five royal decorations. Also, On 28 December 2019, Google doodle celebrated Thanpuying Puangroi Apaiwong’s 105th Birthday.
Death & Immortality
She died on 17 August 2000, at age 85.