Puangroi Apaiwong

Thanpuying Puangroi Apaiwong (December 28, 1914 – August 17, 2000; Thai: ท่านผู้หญิงพวงร้อย อภัยวงศ์) was a Thai composer, thought to be the first woman composer in Thailand. Her song "Bua Kao" ("White Lotus") is a widely recognized classic in Thailand.


Thanpuying Puangroi Apaiwong was born Mom Puangroi Sanit Wong in Bangkok in 1914.[1][2] As a young girl, she learned to play guitar and piano.[1] After graduating from the Wattana Wittaya Academy in 1934,[2] she attended Trinity College London, where she studied music.[1]

Apaiwong is considered the first Thai woman composer,[3] gaining prominence for her work in the Phleng Thai sakon genre, which combined Western notation and instruments with traditional Thai musical styles.[1] She composed more than 100 pieces over the course of her career.[1] She is best known for the song "Bua Kao" ("White Lotus"), which she wrote in the late 1930s for the soundtrack of the film The Old Flame.[1][2][4] The song went on to become a widely recognized classic in Thailand, and UNESCO honored it as a "Song of Asia" in 1979.[1][5][6]

As a composer, Apaiwong wrote songs for plays and later film soundtracks.[1][2][3] She also was commissioned to produce compositions for the Thai royal family and would receive five royal decorations.[1][2] She was named a National Artist of Thailand for musical performance by the Board of National Culture in 1986[1][7] In addition to her composing, she taught Western classical music.[8][9]

She died in 2000, at age 85.[5][10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Thanpuying Puangroi Apaiwong's 105th Birthday". Google Doodle Archive. 2019-12-28. Archived from the original on 2021-12-29. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  2. ^ a b c d e "ท่านผู้หญิงหม่อมหลวงพวงร้อย อภัยวงศ์". ประวัติบุคคลสำคัญของประเทศไทยที่เกี่ยวข้องกับศิลปะและดนตรี (in Thai). Archived from the original on 2006-02-20.
  3. ^ a b "ตอนที่ 25 ผลงานของท่านผู้หญิงพวงร้อย อภัยวงศ์ จากภาพยนตร์เรื่องถ่านไฟเก่า และเรื่องแม่เสือสาว พ.ศ. 2480 - พ.ศ. 2481". Sirindhorn Music Library (in Thai). Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  4. ^ "Virtual Concert "Music Connection"". Chulalongkorn University. 2021-05-07. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  5. ^ a b "Composer Puangroy dies: Best known for her Bua Khao song". The Bangkok Post. 2000-08-21.
  6. ^ Proudfood, Michael (2016-08-16). "Thai musicians charm Bavarian audiences". The Bangkok Post. Archived from the original on 2022-06-01. Retrieved 2022-06-01.
  7. ^ Eamsa-Ard, Lamnao (2006). "Thai popular music: The representation of national identities and ideologies within a culture in transition". Edith Cowan University.
  8. ^ Klongtoey, Krissie na (2003-07-15). "She's gotta dance!". The Bangkok Post.
  9. ^ "Pianist scales the heights". The Bangkok Post. 2004-12-21.
  10. ^ ʻArunrakthāwō̜n, Phūnphon (2000). รวมผลงานเพลง ท่านผู้หญิงพวงร้อย (สนิทวงศ์) อภัยวงศ์ (in Thai). Naphāphō̜n ʻAphaiwong. ISBN 978-974-87639-8-9.