Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music

International Symposium 2014 - 2020

2014 - 2019

Since 2014, the annual international Symposium at PGVIM  invites international participants of all music related fields to engage in a series of collective reflections over the role of music education and music practice in Southeast Asia. 

Those events combine presentations, workshops and talks as well as  concerts curated specifically to illustrate the year’s chosen theme through an eclectic mix of musical and artistic expressions. A highlight of the Symposium, those concerts also give our guests a unique opportunity to engage with our audiences in ways that are both meaningful and essential.  Those annual rituals have been essential in establishing fruitful collaborations within our growing community and have fostered a deeper understanding of the rich diversity of aesthetics that characterise our current musical landscape.

Visit the archive on our webpage to explore our past events.


2020 has thrust us all into a new social reality. With the pandemic keeping us physically distanced, digital interactions have become more vital than ever before. At this year’s international conference, which will take place in our shared virtual reality, we will consider the myriad ways that technologies change the makeup and substance of our musical communities.

As with all technological upheavals, the digital revolution has brought with it a complex mix of blessings and curses. The internet connects and isolates us; it makes new collaborations possible yet pushes us into digital silos; it facilitates novel modes of listening while displacing others. The internet reshapes the ways we communicate with one another, even the ways we communicate with ourselves.

Here in Southeast Asia, our musical heritage is very much infused with a collective spirit. Through most of our history, music has been created collectively, for the good of society. Might current and emerging technologies foster a renaissance of these musical values? Or alternately, is their primary effect to enhance our focus on the self?

This year we will explore the makeup of musical communities, both historically and in our current digital age. How do musical communities coalesce? What roles does music play in creating and strengthening social ties? How have technologies destroyed and created musical communities in the past? How are they doing so today?


At the most elemental level, music is sound–sound that has been chosen or sculpted; sound that inevitably arouses our memories and instincts. Sonic waves have a powerful effect on our bodies. Thus, in cultures around the world, it is used as a form of medicine and conversely, as an instrument of war. Within religious traditions, music connects us to the realm of the spirits and God. At the same time, it serves as a perennial source of inspiration for scientific inquiry. From tuning systems to electronic instruments and software, the disciplines of physics and music have progressed hand in hand.

In a world that has become increasingly homogenized, the essential vibrational impact of music is all too often obscured by the restless noise of consumerist fervor. At the 2019 PGVIM International Symposium, we offer an opportunity to slow down; to examine and appreciate the myriad sonic expressions of musical “matter.” We invite contributions that reflect on all aspects of sonic experience, from the development of instruments and digital technologies to the design of acoustic spaces to the sounds of prayer. We hope that this celebration of music’s sonic dimension will help remind us all why music really matters.


At last year’s symposium we explored the myths and realities that lie at the heart of musical cultures all over the world. This year, we expand on this discussion through an examination of the myriad of ways in which musical styles and meanings morph over time.

Musical traditions are constantly being reimagined and transformed as each generation adapts them to suit their own cultural values and needs. Some musical languages have been lost in transition—their original sonic properties and aesthetic impetus obscured by wave upon wave of adaptations. At the same time, musical reinterpretations and reinventions have given rise to new musics with novel semantics.

Musical metamorphoses include both evolutions and devolutions: while the blind reproduction of musical ideas has given us pale and tedious clichés that fail to inspire, informed and creative transformations have, in many cases, helped to preserve the life force of a certain branch of the musical tree.


Since ancient times, humans have made sense of the world through myth. Myths mirror back to us our understanding of reality. The conflicts, struggles, and phantasmagoric abilities of mythological figures often reflect the unique cultural context that first projected them. At the same time, myths also relate to universal features of the human condition.

Myths are at once a window to the distant past and a reflection of our current life experiences. Myths have been a perennial source of inspiration for musicians through the ages. Southeast Asia is home to countless myths and associated musical traditions. We are looking for papers and creative works that investigate the connections between music and ancient beliefs, traditional myths, or folktales in their historical contexts, as well as contemporary ones. We are also interested in papers that explore how traces of myths remain embedded in contemporary music-making practices, and that examine how the contemporary reinterpretations and re-invention of myths relate to musical expression and meaning.

Just as myths have inspired musicians, so too have musicians inspired the creators of myths. The beauty and seductive power of music is a theme found in countless mythological tales. We are also interested in papers that examine how musicians themselves have been mythologized through the ages.


For its 3rd International Symposium, the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music will reflect on Southeast Asia’s current transitional period following the creation of the AEC (Asean Economic Community).

In this time of economic, social and socio-cultural integration, how can music help connect our voices and transcend our differences? To what extent can music communicate knowledge and create connections between people of different cultures? How can musicians and educators contribute to a sustainable socio-cultural development of the ASEAN community?


The International Symposium ‘Classical Music of ASEAN on the World Stage’ 2015 was initiated in accordance with the goals and objectives of the establishment of the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music. This symposium aims to foster the communication of ideas and studies within the field of classical music, and to provide an engaging discussion platform for music scholars and professionals, both regional and international, committed to the study of classical music in the context of ASEAN.
The symposium offers a variety of academic activities and performances, such as presentations of keynote speakers and participants, panel discussions, exhibitions and concerts in various music disciplines such as performance, composition, pedagogy, musicology, and interdisciplinary that are related to field of classical music in the context of ASEAN.

The initiation of this symposium, which will be held during the 9th and 11th September 2015, is of paramount importance for developing the quality of classical music education and research within the context of ASEAN in Southeast Asia.

At a place nearly 10,000 kilometers away from its provenance, what is exactly the meaning of “Classical Music”? What role should we be playing within the life of music making in this part of the world? and how do we communicate with audiences from the faraway cultural foreign land? 

Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music’s International Symposium 2014 “Classical Music of ASEAN on the World Stage” is calling for music scholars, practitioners, educators, and other music related professionals, both local and international, to submit papers and creative works to be presented during the symposium.

The Symposium is welcome to various musical disciplines such as performance, composition/creativity, pedagogy, musicology, and music interdisciplinary.