Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana enjoyed music since she was young. In one of her interviews, Her Royal Highness said she would turn on the radio whenever she did her homework. This was how she became familiar with western classical music. After returning to Thailand, Her Royal Highness taught French language and literature in several universities. She also performed many other royal activities and duties. Even though she was quite busy, Her Royal Highness enjoyed attending concerts, plays, ballet, and other performances in her free time. Later, after the opening of the National Cultural Centre, when cultural events were held frequently, Her Royal Highness would select performances of particular interest to her to attend.
Her Royal Highness’ interest in western classical music was very profound and serious. She found that a significant number of Thai youth were interested in this style of music, as evident from the many private musical schools and the increasing number and improved quality of performances. Still, there was no serious and sustained support from the government or from the private sector to develop top quality performers. Although several institutes of higher education have music courses and programs, almost all are undergraduate level programs. Though the students have to have some background in musical performance before entering university, the short study time is insufficient to develop the students’ abilities as much would be possible. Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana has consistently supported the development of classical music in Thailand. She provided assistance to various organizations that organized performances, such as the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra Foundation, the Palace Fan Club, and the Tamnak Prathom Harp Center. She granted her patronage to the Chulalongkorn University Symphony Orchestra, the Thai Youth Orchestra, and many other similar groups. In 2000, Her Royal Highness used her personal resources to establish a fund for the promotion of musical education for youth. She then changed this fund to be “The Fund for Classical Music Promotion under the Patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana,” so those who are supported could include more than just the young. Her Royal Highness interviewed and selected those who would receive the funds, among them musicians, composers, and singers. Her Royal Highness monitored the fund recipients closely in the spirit of a teacher helping their progress. Following Her Royal Highness’ gracious support of classical music, many other people and organizations gave their support to classical music as well. Still, it did not compare with the support given in many other countries in the region.
When Silpakorn University and the Ministry of Culture presented in 2007 the project to establish a Conservatory of Music to celebrate the occasion of the 84th birthday of Her Royal Highness, she graciously live her name to the new endeavour, the Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music. This music conservatory has continuously received full support from the government. The Act of Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music was graciously announced on the 25th May 2012. The institute is from now on ready to fulfill the aspiration of Her Royal Highness Princess Galyani Vadhana Krom Luang Naradhivas Rajanagarindra at full capacity.
In the occasion of the inauguration season of the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music Youth Orchestra, I would like to give my gratitude to our teachers and staff as well as young musician’s parents and audience for giving their best support to the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music Youth Orchestra for making every concerts in the second season possible. Thus, giving our young musicians opportunity to growth both musically and personally into a higher level.
Associate Professor Khunying Wongchan Phinainitisatra
President of PGVIM