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Prabha Atre
प्रभा अत्रे
Born(1932-09-13)13 September 1932
Died13 January 2024(2024-01-13) (aged 91)
Pune, Maharashtra, India
Alma mater
AwardsSangeet Natak Akademi Award (1991)

Prabha Atre (13 September 1932 – 13 January 2024) was an Indian classical vocalist from the Kirana gharana. She was awarded all three of the Padma Awards by the Government of India.[1] She died after experiencing breathing difficulty in the early hours and was taken to Dinanath Mangeshkar Hospital. She died from cardiac arrest before reaching the hospital.[2][3][4][5] Atre died on 13 January 2024, at the age of 91.[6]

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.[7] She acknowledged the influence of two other greats, Amir Khan for khyal and Bade Ghulam Ali Khan for thumri, on her gayaki. She also had 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 also studied 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.[7]


Atre had a short stint as a singing stage-actress in the early days of her career.[8] She also played roles in a line-up of Marathi theatre classics, which included Sangeet Nataks like Sanshay-Kallol, Maanaapamaan, Saubhadra and Vidyaharan.

Atre was one of the senior vocalists in the country representing the Kirana Gharana. Her first LP, with Maru Bihag and Kalavati, clearly demonstrates her extraordinary artistry and creativity. She contributed to popularizing Indian classical vocal music at global level. She was competent in various musical genres such as Khyal, Thumri, Dadra, Ghazal, geet, Natyasangeet, and bhajans.

As a composer

Related activities

Atre 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


Books of music compositions: 1. Swaranjanee 2. Swaranginee 3. Swararangee

Books containing her musical thoughts: 1. Swaramayee (Marathi and Hindi) 2. Suswaralee (Marathi and Hindi) 3. Along the path of Music 4. Enlightening the listener

Book of poetry: Antah Swar (Marathi Hindi and English)


Atre gave private lessons to students beginning in 1969.[10] She later mentored numerous students through her skilful teaching methods. Many of her students are well-known names today. She was also associated with SNDT women's University Mumbai as a head, she also visited many foreign countries to teach and propagate Indian classical music beginning in 1960.[7] She established Swaramayee Gurukul at Pune to train students in traditional the Guru Shishya Parampara system. Her noted disciples are:[7] Alka Joglekar, Vijaya Patki, Asha Parasnis, Chetna Banawat, Atindra Sarvadikar, Arati Thakur, Ashvini Modak, Fumie Nigeshi, etc.


  1. ^ "Padma Awardees 2022" (PDF) (Press release).
  2. ^ "Prabha Atre, icon of Kirana Gharana, dead". The Times of India. 14 January 2024. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  3. ^ डेस्क, एबीपी माझा एंटरटेनमेंट (13 January 2024). "शास्त्रीय गायिका प्रभा अत्रे यांचे पुण्यात निधन; वयाच्या 92 व्या वर्षी घेतला अखेरचा श्वास". (in Marathi). Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  4. ^ Borade, Aarti Vilas. "Prabha Atre Death: ज्येष्ठ शास्त्रीय गायिका प्रभा अत्रे यांचे पुण्यात निधन". Hindustan Times Marathi (in Marathi). Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  5. ^ ठोंबरे, महिमा (13 January 2024). "Prabha Atre Death: ज्येष्ठ शास्त्रीय गायिका प्रभा अत्रेंचं निधन, संगीतविश्वातला तारा निखळला". सकाळ (in Marathi). Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  6. ^ "Renowned classical singer Prabha Atre doyen of Kirana Gharana dies at 92". The Week. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  7. ^ a b c d e "व्यक्तिवेध: प्रभा अत्रे". Loksatta (in Marathi). 29 January 2022. Retrieved 4 February 2022.
  8. ^ Khanna, Shailaja (2 June 2017). "Classical music has to change". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 5 October 2021.
  9. ^ "Nominations are open for Afternoon Voice's 14th Newsmakers Achievers Awards 2022". ANI News.
  10. ^ Nair, Malini (22 September 2021). "For seven decades, Prabha Atre has been questioning her stellar musical legacy while upholding it". Retrieved 5 October 2021.