Remembering Dr Prabha Atre and her music
Prabhaji's voice captivated generations of musicians, and her evergreen compositions remain inspirational and sticky across decades. Last week got darker with the passing of this doyen. RIP 💔
If the news from last week was bad, this week got worse with the passing of a legend -Dr Prabha Atre. A first-generation musician who won every Padma honor in India.
On top of being an internationally renowned and accomplished classical singer and musician, she had a degree in science and law and eventually got her Ph.D. in music. She broke all the generational stereotypes of her era and inspired many listeners, students, and ardent fans.
”As a 'sadhak', I am not satisfied because the learning never ends. I want to sing till the last breath but I also want to keep working in other aspects of music. I want to take classical music to the masses, to make it popular and to make it easy to learn. Until that happens, classical music will not survive," - Dr Atre
I’ll share two of her compositions that continue to move me to this day. First is her legendary composition in Raag Kalavati - Tana Mana Tope Varoon (तन मन धन तोपे वारूँ) in Ektaal from 50 years back. I heard this in a private concert in Saratoga in 2015 and kept returning to it. Here’s a rare recording of her performing the song in New York.
Another favorite of mine is her composition “Nanda Nandana” in Raag Kirvani. It’s a unique composition in Kirvani that puts you in a meditative state. Wishing her family, friends and community condolences, and I hope we continue celebrating her life, music, and contributions to humanity.
Please also read Dr Atre’s obituary in the Economic Times.