Pune: Padma Vibhushan and veteran classical singer of Kirana Gharana, Prabha Atre celebrated her 91st birthday by opening a Kirana Gharana public library and research center at her Swarmyee Gurukul on Jungli Maharaj Road in the city.
A book on Atre’s musical journey was also launched in the presence of his many disciples and classical singers.
“The secret to my health is my audience, my listeners and my supporters. This is what keeps me going. These last two years of Covid have made me realize how much work remains and I aimed to keep writing about music and creating more music,” she said.
Resplendent in her off-white sari, Atre couldn’t help but talk about the need for such a library and a center for classical music research, especially Kirana Gharana. “It’s often said that singers just sing and don’t really write songs or music, but with the idea of this library, I intend to make a change and publish more research and of books on classical music and Kirana Gharana.”
The library housed at his gurukul has about 250 books and 100 magazines, with about 20 GB of audio/video of musical performances by Kirana Gharana singers.
Prasad Bhadsawale, Program Director, Swarmyee Gurukul, said, “We want to increase library materials that will be free to use for singers, researchers and music students. I appeal to private collectors who over time have collected books, audio, video of Kirana Gharana singers to help develop library materials.
Atre feels that in today’s world, singers as well as the public are to be blamed for not holding mehfils or singing sessions as they once did. “Patience is key and with this new audience, I find no one has the time and patience to listen to a raga for more than two hours.”
“We have approached the government to enable the teaching of music appreciation in schools and colleges, after which students and those with an interest in music will understand the nuances of appreciating classical music,” a- she declared.