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"Gana Prbha, Prabha Atre."


An eminent personality in the field of music, Dr. Prabha Atre has earned for herself a place of distinction as a brilliant thinker, performer, composer and teacher of music. She is one of the senior most, front ranking female vocalists in the country representing the Kirana gharaanaa, today. A Science and Law graduate, she also holds a Doctorate in music. A former Assistant Producer with the All India Radio, former Professor and Head of the Department of Music, SNDT Women's University, Mumbai, and former Producer-Director of the recording company `Swarashree', devoted only to Classical Music, Dr. Prabha Atre has a rare blend of skill and insight. She has displayed constant innovation and creative endeavour which has distinguished her from other vocalists, both in the classical and light classical idioms. She is working as a committee member for several social, educational and cultural institutions. Dr. Atre has setup `Dr. Prabha Atre Foundation' which aims to strive for the cause of Indian classical music and performing arts.

Dr. Atre has authored academic books on the various aspects of music that are especially relevant to the present day performance. Her Doctoral thesis on `Sargam' or the use of sol-fa names as musical material, which is perhaps a pioneering work on the subject, bears testimony to this. Her first book `Swaramayee' which is a compilation of many of her articles on music and has bagged the Maharashtra State Govt. Award in 1989 is a classic example of her analytical approach and original thinking. Her second book `Swaralee' published in 1992 also received great accolades. Madhya Pradesh Govt. Hindi Granth Academy has published Hindi translation of `Swaramayee' and `Swaralee' with a view to take these books to Hindi knowing music lovers. Her third book `Swaranginee' published in 1994 carries 200 of her popular compositions in classical and light classical music. A book in English `Enlightening the Listener - Contemporary North Indian Classical Vocal Music Performance' (accompanied with a cassette) has achieved its objective in helping the global music lovers to understand and appreciate the Indian art music. A book of poems in Marathi `Antahswar' by Dr. Atre brings out a different aspect of her creative personality.

Dr. Atre is an acclaimed guru both in performance and research. Quite a few of her students are already well known stage and mass media performers. Her Ph.D. students had the advantage of testing their work in the context of contemporary performance. Dr. Atre has also been teaching at foreign universities as a visiting professor. Her public concerts, radio and TV programmes and lecture - demonstrations in India and abroad to audiences of varying tastes have always been highly appreciated. She was honoured with the National Award `PADMASHREE' in 1990 and the `SANGEET NATAK AKADEMI' Award in 1991 as the Indian Government's appreciation for her outstanding role in enriching, preserving and popularising the Indian art music.


Dr. Prabha Atre was trained in the traditional `guru-shishya paramparaa' system by the late Sureshbabu Mane and his famous sister, Padmabhushan Hirabai Badodekar, both stalwarts of the Kirana gharaana and drew much inspiration from the styles of renowned maestros, Amir Khan and Bade Gulam Ali Khan.

Dr. Atre's sincerity to her art and sensitivity to the times clearly surface in her thinking and singing. Whether khyaal, taraanaa, thumri, daadraa, ghazal or bhajan, she has a distinct style and typical ingenuity in design and presentation. Indeed, her pleasant and dignified presence on stage, her chaste and creative approach, her imaginative play with subtleties of tones and dynamics, her effortless control over intricate yet appealing phrases in aalaap, taan and sargam, her precise articulation of words and stirring portrayal of the emotional themes, all these make her music a singularly satisfying experience.


     
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