Prabha Atre (born 13 September 1932) is an Indian classical singer of the Kirana gharana. 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. Prabha learned classical music first from Pandit Sureshbabu Mane, and after his demise in 1952, from Smt. Hirabai Badodekar. Both Sureshbabu and Hirabai were children and disciples of Ustad Abdul Karim Khan. While studying under Hirabai, Prabha accompanied her on her musical concert tours in different parts of India. 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 in Indian classical music.
Prabha has presented many papers and lectures-demonstrations on music, both in India and abroad. 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 – America, Indo-American Fellowship for studying research materials used in Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles – America, 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, Around 1994, Prabha started an annual Pandit Sureshbabu Mane and Hirabai Badodekar Sangeet Sammelan music festival. The festival takes place annually in December in Mumbai. Prabha established some years ago Swaramayee Gurukul in Pune. This institution amalgamates traditional guru-shishya style of teaching music and contemporary classroom teaching.
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