Supeena Insee Adler
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Ethnomusicology

World Music Instrument Curator; Director, Music of Thailand Ensemble

Supeena Insee Adler is a native Thai and Lao speaker and a Thai musician. She is a performer and ethnomusicologist living in San Diego, California. She performs and teaches classical Thai music on traditional stringed instruments. Her other areas of interest are mediums, healing rituals and music in Northeast Thailand and Southern Laos, and Okinawa minyo.

Adler’s 2014 dissertation, Music for the Few: Nationalism and Thai Royal Authority, under the direction of Professor Deborah Wong, concerns a Thai royal musical tradition, royal power, literature in Thai traditional music performance, transmission, and sustainability. Her 2010 master’s thesis, “A Theater of the Spirits: Ritual Performance and Community in Northeast Thailand,” was also under the direction of Dr. Wong.

Adler is active as a scholar in the fields of ethnomusicology and Southeast Asian Studies, as well as a teacher and performer of Thai traditional music, as well as a professional interpreter for Thai and Lao languages. She was recently hired to repair and restore the Thai musical instrument collection at UCLA by the Department of Ethnomusicology in 2014–15. She directed the event “Music of Thailand at UCLA” celebrating the restoration of the collection with support from the Department of Ethnomusicology and the Center for Southeast Asian Studies. She has obtained support from the Thai Royal Embassy to expand the Thai instrument collection at UCLA.

While at the University of California Riverside, Supeena Adler established and directed two ensembles: a Thai classical ensemble and Okinawa minyo (folk song) group which involved students, faculty, and community. In San Diego, she has worked closely with the Thai community to establish curricula for Thai language and culture instruction at the local Thai Buddhist temple. For over a decade, she has volunteered to teach Thai traditional music at the temple where she also performs regularly. She has also established a professional ensemble of Thai musicians in Southern California which has performed at venues including the Mingei International Museum in San Diego.

Ph.D. Music (Ethnomusicology), U.C. Riverside; M.A. Southeast Asian Studies: Text, Ritual, and Performance (SEATRiP), U.C. Riverside; B.F.A. Thai Classical Music, Mahasarakham University, Thailand.

Roger Savage
Chair of Ethnomusicology; Professor
Nick DePinna
Lecturer--Introduction to Musicianship
Armen Adamian
Instructor of Armenian Music Ensemble
Katherine In–Young Lee
Associate Professor (On leave 2022-2023)
I Nyoman Wenten
Adjunct Assoc. Professor
Steven Loza
Chair of Global Jazz Studies; Professor
Mark Kligman
Professor of Musicology, Ethnomusicology, and Humanities Mickey Katz Chair of Jewish Music Director of Lowell Milken Center for Music of American Jewish Experience
Lorry Black
Academic Administrator
Melissa Bilal
Associate Director of Armenian Music Program and Lecturer
Chi Li
Adjunct Professor
Mohsen Mohammadi
Director of Indo-Persian Music

Explore Other Degrees

Conducting
Graduate study and training in choral, orchestral, or wind conducting
Ethnomusicology
The study of global musical traditions through performance training, research, and field work
Global Jazz Studies
Jazz performance and musicianship courses are paired with African American Studies
Music Composition
Mentorship in the creation and realization of music for concerts, opera, and visual media
Music Education
Preparation for music educators leading to a B.A. and teaching credential in just four years
Music History & Industry
Combining Musicology and the Music Industry minor for practical hands-on training with the study of music within the context of different societies, cultures, and theories
Music Industry
Industry professionals and UCLA faculty prepare students for music-related careers
Musicology
The scholarly study of the histories, cultures, and critical interpretations of music and music-making
Music Performance
Study and training towards professional performance careers in Western classical music