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|Born||13 September 1932|
|Years active||1950 - present|
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 initially from Vijay Karandikar. She then learnt 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
- Bachelor of Science, Fergusson College, University of Pune
- Bachelor of Law, Law College, University of Pune
- Sangeet Alankar (Master of Music), Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal
- Doctor of Music — research on sargam
- Western Music Theory Grade-IV, Trinity College of Music, London
- Training in North Indian Classical Vocal Music under Sureshbabu Mane and Hirabai Badodekar from Kirana gharana
- Formal training in Kathak dance style
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.
- Maru Bihag, Kalavati, Khamaj thumri
- Niranjani - Puriya Kalyan, Shankara, Basant
- Anant Prabha - Lalit, Bhinna Shadja, Bhairavi thumri
- Bageshree, Khamaj thumri
- Jogkauns, Todi, thumri
- Malkauns, dadra
- Madhuvanti, Desi
- Yaman, Bhairav
- Shyam Kalyan, Bihag, Rageshree thumri
- ghazal and bhajan recordings from live concerts from the 1970s
- Book of compositions Swarangini and Swaranjanee
- She has also invented new Raags such as Apurva Kalyan, Darbari Kauns, Patdeep-Malhar, Shiv Kali, Tilang-bhairav, Ravi Bhairav, and Madhur-kauns
- Music compositions adapted to full-length dance programme `Nritya Prabha’ - choreographed by the Bharatanatyam danseuse Sucheta Bhide Chapekar.
- Music composition adapted for jazz by Susanne Abbuehl from the Netherlands[which?].
- Music composed for musical-dramas and Sangeetikas.
- Prabha Atre has been teaching music, performing lecture-demonstrations, and writing on the topic of Indian classical music.
- A former Assistant Producer with the All India Radio.
- A' Grade — All India Radio Drama Artist (Marathi and Hindi).
- Main female role in Professional Musical Dramas.(Sangeet Natak and Sangeetika)
- She has been a visiting professor at a few institutions in the West, including the Rotterdam Conservatory in the Netherlands. Visiting Professor at the Music conservatory - Montreux Switzerland, Visiting Professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, Indo-American Fellowship for studying research materials used in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles, Visiting Professor at the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
- Appointment as `Special Executive Magistrate' by the Government of Maharashtra in recognition of services to the cause of Music
- Professor and Head of the Dept. of Music, S.N.D.T. Woman's University, Mumbai.
- Around 1992, Prabha started an annual Pandit Sureshbabu Mane and Hirabai Badodekar Sangeet Sammelan music festival. The festival takes place annually in December in Mumbai.
- Chief Music Producer and Director for `Swarashree' Recording Company since 1981
- Member of the Advisory Panel of the Central Board of Film Censors, Mumbai 1984
- President 'Gaan Vardhan' - a well-known music organisation, Pune, for the past 22 years.
- 'Dr. Prabha Atrre Foundation' was registered in May 2000.
- Prabha established some years ago Swaramayee Gurukul in Pune. This institution amalgamates traditional guru-shishya style of teaching music and contemporary classroom teaching.
- Dr. Prabha Atre has been concluding Sawai Gandharva Bhimsen Festival since 2007 which is considered to be prestigious.
- 1976 - Acharya Atre Award for music.
- Jagatguru Shankaracharya conferred the title "Gaan-Prabha"
- The Government of India conferred "Padma Shree" in 1990 and "Padma Bhushan" in 2002.
- 1991 - Sangeet Natak Academy Award
- Giants International Award, Rashtriya Kalidas samman
- Tagore Akademi Ratna Award announced from the Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2011
- Dinanath Mangeshkar award
- Hafiz Ali Khan Award
- Felicitation by Global Action Club International
- Govind-Lakshmi award
- Godavari Gaurav Puraskar
- Dagar Gharana Award
- Acharya Pandit Ram Narayan Foundation Award Mumbai
- Ustad Faiyyaz Ahmed Khan Memorial Award (Kirana Gharana)
- 'Kala-Shree 2002'
- P.L. Deshpande Bahuroopi Sanman
- Sangeet Sadhana Ratna Award
- 'Lifetime achievement’ award by the Pune University
- Mahim Ratna Award by Shivsena Mumbai
- Felicitation by the Mayor of Mumbai, Name included in national and international biographical works.
- State government Award to her book Swarmayee.
From the year 2011 "Swarayoginee Dr. Prabha Atre Rashtriya Shaastreeya Sangeet Puraskar" instituted by Tatyasaheb Natu Trust and Gaanvardhan Pune.
- Working as a committee member for several social, educational, cultural institutions.
- Chairman of Rasta Peth Education Society — a leading educational association in Pune for the last 12 years.
- Official website
- India's 50 Most Illustrious Women (ISBN 81-88086-19-3) by Indra Gupta
- The Great Masters: Profiles in Hindustani Classical Vocal Music by Mohan Nadkarni
- List of Padma Bhushan recipients. Retrieved 2009-06-28.