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Prabha Atre
प्रभा अत्रे
Prabha atre.jpg
Born (1932-09-13) 13 September 1932 (age 90)
Nationality British India (1932-1947)
 India (1947-present)
Alma materUniversity of Pune (B.A)
Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Music School (PhD)
Years active(1950 – present)
AwardsSangeet Natak Akademi Award (1991)
Padma Shri Ribbon.svg
Padma Shri (1990)
Padma Bhushan Ribbon.svg
Padma Bhushan (2002)
Padma Vibhushan Ribbon.svg
Padma Vibhushan (2022)

Prabha Atre (born 13 September 1932) is an Indian classical vocalist from the Kirana gharana. She has been awarded all three of the Padma Awards by the Government of India.[1]

Early life and education

Atre was born to Abasaheb and Indirabai Atre in Pune. As children, Atre and her sister, Usha, were interested in music, but neither of them planned to pursue music as a career. When Atre 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 Atre 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.[2] She acknowledges the influence of two other greats, Amir Khan for khyal and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan for thumri, on her gayaki. She also has formal training in Kathak dance style.

While studying music, Atre earned a Bachelor of Science from Fergusson College in Pune. Later she completed an LL.B. from University of Pune Law College. She has also studies at Gandharva Mahavidyalaya Mandal (Sangeet Alankar (Master of Music)), Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London (Western Music Theory Grade-IV). She later also earned a PhD in music. Her doctoral thesis was titled Sargam, and pertained to the use of sol-fa notes (sargam) in Indian classical music.[2]


Atre had a short stint as a singing stage-actress in the early days of her career.[3] She also played roles in a line-up of Marathi theatre classics, which included Sangeet Nataks like Sanshay-Kallol, Maanaapamaan, Saubhadra and Vidyaharan.

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 Khyal, Thumri, Dadra, Ghazal, geet, Natyasangeet, and bhajans. She has been giving private lessons to students since 1969.[4]

As a composer

Related activities

Atre has taught music, performing lecture-demonstrations, and writing on the topic of Indian classical music.



  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


  1. ^ "Padma Awardees 2022" (PDF) (Press release).
  2. ^ a b c "व्यक्तिवेध: प्रभा अत्रे". Loksatta (in Marathi). 29 January 2022. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  3. ^ Khanna, Shailaja (2 June 2017). "Classical music has to change". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  4. ^ Nair, Malini. "For seven decades, Prabha Atre has been questioning her stellar musical legacy while upholding it". Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  5. ^ "Prabha Atre – Age, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Profession And Much More". Aaj Ke Din. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  6. ^ "Nominations are open for Afternoon Voice's 14th Newsmakers Achievers Awards 2022". ANI News.