Prabha Atre

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Prabha Atre
Prabha atre.jpg
Born (1932-09-13) 13 September 1932 (age 88)
Alma mater University of Pune (B.A)
Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Music School (Ph.D)
Years active(1950 - present)
Awards Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1991)
Honours Padma Shri (1990)
Padma Bhushan (2002)

Prabha Atre (born 13 September 1932) is an Indian classical vocalist from the Kirana gharana. Dr. Prabha Atre holds the world record to have released 11 books (from a single stage). She released 11 books on music in Hindi and English at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi on 18 April 2016.[ citation needed ]


Early life and background

Prabha was born to Abasaheb and Indirabai Atre in Pune. As children, Prabha and her sister, Usha, were interested in music, but neither of them planned to pursue music as a career. When Prabha was eight, Indirabai was not keeping good health, and at a friend's suggestion that classical music lessons would help her feel better, she took a few lessons. Listening to those lessons inspired Prabha to learn classical music.

Her music training was in the Guru-shishya tradition. She learnt classical music from Sureshbabu Mane and Hirabai Badodekar from the Kirana gharana. She acknowledges the influence of two other greats, Amir Khan for khyal and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan for thumri, on her gayaki.

While studying music, Prabha finished college courses in science and law to receive degrees in both of those disciplines. She later also earned a Ph.D. in music. Her doctoral thesis was titled Sargam, and pertained to the use of sol-fa notes (sargam) in Indian classical music.

Academic and musical qualifications


Prabha Atre had a short stint as a singing stage-actress in the early days of her career. She played her roles in a line-up of Marathi theatre classics, which included socials and mythologicals like Sanshay-Kallol, Maanaapamaan, Saubhadra and Vidyaharan.

Prabha Atre is currently one of the senior vocalists in the country representing the Kirana Gharana. Her first LP, with Maru Bihag and Kalavati, clearly demonstrates the influence of Amir Khan. She has contributed to popularizing Indian classical vocal music at global level. She is competent in various musical genres such as Khayal, Thumri, Dadra, Ghazal, geet, Natyasangeet, and bhajans. She has been giving private lessons to students since 1969.


  1. Maru Bihag, Kalavati, Khamaj thumri
  2. Niranjani - Puriya Kalyan, Shankara, Basant
  3. Anant Prabha - Lalit, Bhinna Shadja, Bhairavi thumri
  4. Bageshree, Khamaj thumri
  5. Jogkauns, Todi, thumri
  6. Malkauns, dadra
  7. Chandrakauns
  8. Madhukauns
  9. Madhuvanti, Desi
  10. Yaman, Bhairav
  11. Shyam Kalyan, Bihag, Rageshree thumri
  12. ghazal and bhajan recordings from live concerts from the 1970s



From the year 2011 "Swarayoginee Dr. Prabha Atre Rashtriya Shaastreeya Sangeet Puraskar" instituted by Tatyasaheb Natu Trust and Gaanvardhan Pune.

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  1. "Padma Awards" (PDF). Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India. 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 November 2014. Retrieved 21 July 2015.