Eua Sunthornsanan

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Euah Suntornsanan
Native nameเอื้อ สุนทรสนาน
Birth nameBoon-euah Suntornsanan[1]
Born(1910-01-21)January 21, 1910
Amphawa, Samut Songkhram, Thailand
DiedApril 1, 1981(1981-04-01) (aged 71)
Bangkok, Thailand
Occupation(s)Singer, composer, bandleader

Euah Suntornsanan (Thai: เอื้อ สุนทรสนาน; RTGSUeah Suntornsanan; January 21, 1910, Amphawa, Samut Songkhram Province – April 1, 1981) was a singer, Thai composer and bandleader of Suntaraporn band. He was a pioneer in introducing Western music into Thai culture. He started the trend of international style Thai music, or Phleng Thai Sakon. He composed over 2,000 songs that have been popular until today, for example, Rumwong Loy Kratong, many Songkran and New Year songs, and other 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 Euah for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Culture Organization (UNESCO) to honor Kru Euah Suntornsanan as Personality of the Year on the list of Anniversary of World Personalities and Historic Events 2010-2011, which was granted in 2010.[2]

Early life[edit]

Euah Suntornsanan was born on January 21, 1910, in Amphawa, Samut Songkhram Province. His father was Mr. Dee Suntornsanan. His mother was Mrs. Sae Suntornsanan. He had 3 siblings. At age 9, he came to stay with his brother in Bangkok and started his primary education. Euah studied Western classical music at the Phran Luang School. His first instrument was violin. By the age of nine, Euah was developed enough to play in an orchestra.

Career[edit]

Euah 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, Euah, at age 26, had a chance to perform an original soundtrack, phleng Thai sakol, that would also be used in a film. Afterward, Euah 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 Suntaraporn band. Suntaraporn was the first Thai western-style band. Euah’s band marked the beginning of the western-style music era in Thailand from the 1940s 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.[3] Under Thailand’s Public Relations Department, Euah 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.[4] 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 Karnasuta on May 14, 1946. The name of his band came from his surname and her first name combined. They had one daughter, Atiporn Suntornsanan, who now runs Suntaraporn Foundation with an aim to promote the life and work of Kru Euah Suntornsanan and Suntaraporn Band.[5]

Feature films[edit]

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

See also[edit]

References[edit]