Eua Sunthornsanan

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Eua Sunthornsanan (Thai: เอื้อ สุนทรสนาน; rtgsUea Sunthonsanan; January 21, 1910, Amphawa, Samut Songkhram Province – April 1, 1981) was a singer,Thai composer and bandleaderof Suntharaporn band in the 1940s. He was a pioneer in introducing Western music into Thai culture. He started the trend of international style Thai music, or Phleng Thai Sakon, under the help of the Music Association of Thailand under the patronage of his majesty the king. He composed over 2,000 songs that were popular for many centuries, for example Songkran songs, and Thai traditional songs. In 1975, He was given an insignia by the king. In 1981 He died of cancer. In 2007, the Ministry of Culture of Thailand nominated Kru Eua for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization (UNESCO) to honor Kru Eua Sunthornsanan as one of the world personalities on the list of Anniversary of World Personalities and Historic Events 2010-2011, which was granted two years later.[1]


Eua Sunthornsanan was born on January 21, 1910, in Amphawa Samut Songkhram Province. His father was named Mr. Dee Sunthornsanan. His mother was named Mrs. Sae Suthornsanan. He had 3 siblings. At age 9, he came to stay with his brother in Bangkok and started his primary education. Eua studied Western classical music at the Phran Luang School. His first instrument was violin. By the age of nine, Eua was developed enough to play in an orchestra. At age 18, he enrolled at the Vithaya Sakol Dontri Sathan music school. He primarily studied harmony and arrangement.


Eua published his first written song, Yod Teok Tonk Surk, at the age of 20, and it was played in the musical comedy of Mea Ruen, where his unique voice and instrumental talent were discovered. At the time, he was working as a civil servant for the now-defunct Performance Department. He was receiving 20 baht per month for playing in the Big Band. He also worked at the Fine Art Department, and performed at many important events. In 1936, Eua, at age 26, had a chance to perform an original soundtrack, phleng Thai sakol, that would also be used in a film. Afterward, Eua became the directing composer for several Thai films, combining Thai music with Western’s styles like Jazz and Classically music. His style was later developed into a romantic music, luk grung, which translates as “child of the city” and was usually associated with the elite Bangkokians. When the company,Thai films, that he was working for was closed years after, he established a band called Suntharaporn band. Suntharaporn was the first Thai western-style band. Eua’s band marked the beginning of the western-style music era in Thailand from the 1940‘s to the 1970s. He initially faced a lot of criticism from Thai people for introducing Western sounds into Thai conservative culture. However, his music was embraced by Prime Minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram, whose government was encouraging modernization and westernization in Thailand.[2] Under Thailand’s Public Relations Department, Eua headed an orchestra, performing live on national radio broadcasts, and also at many government functions and parties. It served as the main orchestra in Thailand during the Second World War. He was the orchestra chief and the chief of music section for the Thai PR department.[3] He retired in 1978 because of his illness, after 42 years of revolutionizing Thai music. He was a dedicated and determined artist throughout his career. He died of cancer on April 1, 1981.

Personal life[edit]

Eua Sunthornsanan married Arporn Grunnasu on May 14, 1946. The name of his band came from their surnames and last names combined. They had one daughter, Artiporn Sunthornsanan who became an accountant at the Ministry of Commerce.

Feature films[edit]

-composed song in many films such as "Satsanar Ruk Nan Jone" (1950),"Chai Chart Suea"(1951), "Naresuan"(1957),etc.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Khru Eua and M.R. Kukrit honored by UNESCO
  2. ^ Lersakvanitchakul, Kitchana. July 2006. "A virtuoso", The Nation, "35 Most Influential Thais".
  3. ^ Radio Thailand, Music – Medium of Entertainment Through Times.