Pune, Jan 13 : Legendary Hindustani Classical singer, author, composer and researcher Prabha Atre passed away following a brief illness at a private hospital here on Saturday, family sources said.
Atre was 91 and had complained of some breathing issues early today, but succumbed when she suffered a cardiac arrest while being rushed to a private hospital this morning.
President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Governor Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde, Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar and other prominent personalities from various fields have condoled Atre’s demise.
An exponent of the Kirana Gharana school of music, Atre was conferred the Padmashri (1990), Padma Bhushan (2002) and Padma Bhushan (2022), plus many other national-international honours.
An acclaimed classical singer, she excelled in rendition of khayals, thumris, ghazal, dadri, bhajans and natyasangeet, besides composing, authoring books on music and giving new ‘raagas’ to the world of music.
Atre had penned books on music composition – ‘Swarangini’ and ‘Swaranjanee’, is credited with inventing new Raagas like ‘Apurva Kalyan’, ‘Madhur Kauns’, ‘Darbari Kauns’, ‘Patdeep-Malhar’, ‘Shiv Kali’, ‘Tilang-Bhairav’ and ‘Ravi Bhairav’.
She composed music for a full-length dance recital ‘Natya Prabha’, a music composition adapted for jazz by a top Netherlands artist, and also created music for musical-dramas or sangeetikas.
President Murmu said that she was grieved by the unfortunate demise of the great Hindustani Classical vocalist Prabha Atreji, who was a multi-faceted personality, excelled as a scholar, composer, performer and author.
“She gave a new dimension to Kirana Gharana and played a significant role in taking Indian Classical Music to the world,” said the President.
Expressing pain, the PM Modi described Atre as “a luminary of Indian classical music, whose work was admired not just in India but across the globe. Her life was a symphony of excellence and dedication. Her efforts have greatly enriched our cultural fabric.”
Governor Bais said Atre was a renowned vocalist and music composer with a brilliant research mind, and in her long and illustrious musical career, she embraced innovation and took Indian classical music to greater heights.
“She passed on her rich musical legacy to her numerous disciples. Atre’s compositions are timeless. Her life was a tapasya. I offer my prayers for the departed soul and convey my deepest condolences to her disciples and admirers,” said Bais.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari said Atre’s passing is “an irreparable loss to the classical music field,” and described her as a multifaceted ‘Swarayogini’, writer-poet, who made a valuable contribution to Hindustani classical music.
Chief Minister Shinde said with Atre’s passing, “an ascetic personality has gone behind the curtain of time.”
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis recalled how, just three weeks ago, when he presented Atre with the Atal Sanskriti Award, he never imagined it would be their last meeting.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar said that the world of Indian Classical music has lost a talented personality who achieved the highest achievements in many fields like knowledge, science, ritual, art, literature and music has been lost, “a glorious era of Indian classical music has come to an end.”
Nationalist Congress Party President Sharad Pawar paid rich tributes while Working President Supriya Sule said Atre shone like “a start on the horizon of Indian Classical music for many decades” and her melodious singing and cheerful personality will always be remembered.
The last rites of Atre are likely to be held early next week, as many of her relatives living abroad are expected to arrive here and pay their respects, according to a Pune singer.