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Prabha Atre
GharanaKhayal - KiranaPrabha Atre
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Hirabai Barodekar
Sureshbabu Mane
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Prabha Dattatreya Atre was born in Pune, Maharashtra. She completed her primary and secondary education in Pune. Her father, Dattatreya Pilaji Atre was a headmaster in the High school of Education Society in Rasta Peth, Pune. As well as her mother Indira Atre was a school teacher in the same school. There was no tradition of music in her house; but due to the cause of her mother's illness, a harmonium was brought home for her relaxation. She received her primary education of music from Vijay Karandikar, and later she learnt from Pt. Sureshbabu Mane, senior vocalist of Kirana Gharana and son of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan.
She was trained to sing the Gayaki of Kirana gharana in a systematic way from Pt. Sureshbabu Mane from 1948 to 1955. After the unexpected death of Sureshbabu in 1955, she learnt under luminary vocalist Heerabai Badodekar from 1955 to 1957. Later she developed her own way of musical thinking and also got a new perspective of gayaki from the influence of Ustad Amir Kha and Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan.
She completed her B.S.C from the Fergusson College of Pune; as well as she received designation of L.L.B and Bar Council from the Law College. Besides her education, she also played main characters in Musical Plays along with her concerts. She got the opportunity to perform with many popular and known actors through musical plays like, 'Sangeet Sharada' , 'Vidyaharan' , 'Sanshaykallol' , 'Mrichhakatik' and others. She got a job in All India Radio; hence she decided to make music as her career. Later, from 1960 to 1970, she worked as an assistant music producer. From 1979 to 1992, she was the head of Music department at S.N.D.T Women's University of Mumbai.
Prabha Atre has composed many bandishes in various song-forms such as Khyal, Tarana, Thumri, Dadra, Bhajan, Geet, Ghazal and also Tappa. While in some of her compositions, there is slight essence of Carnatic Music which adds the sweetness to it. In both of her books namely 'Swarangini' and 'Swaranjani', there are almost 450 compositions (Bandishes).
Her book ‘Swarmayi’ containing articles expressing her musical musings and experiences have received the Maharashtra state award for best book. Her dissertation on 'Sargam' is termed to be important due to the newness and the content of the subject. She has reached to the worldwide music appreciators through her books in English, 'Enlightening the listener' and 'Along the path of music'. Her collection of poetry named ‘Antah-Swara’ which has been written through her musical experiences probably is the first of its kind. For this work, she was awarded with ‘Master Krishnarao Phulambrikar award by Maharshtra Sahotya Parishad’ and ‘Kaka Hatarsi Award’.
Prabha Atre has propagated Hindustani Music not only in India, but also in abroad through her performances, practical sessions, workshops and television programs. She has also expressed her thoughts about the theory of mass education and presentation in universities. She has framed the syllabus for the course of Masters in music for S N D T University. Many students have received doctorate under Prabha Atre's guidance. She has taught Indian music through foreign universities too.
She has established ‘Prabha Atre Foundation’ for the preservation and propagation of Hindustani music. Discussions, workshops with practical sessions are conducted through this foundation. Besides, every year a music festival is performed in the memory of her Gurus. She has established ‘Swarmayi Gurukul’ in Pune for practical training in music. Here monthly performances are conducted to encourage the young upcoming artists.
She has been honored the ‘Padmashree’ and ‘Padmabhushan’ by the Govt. of India, ‘Kalidas Samman’ of Madhya Pradesh government, the ‘Sangeet Natak Academy award’, ‘PunyaBhushan award’ and many others.
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