Milind Raikar was born in December 1964, in a family where music was abounding in Goa. Young master Milind showed a great promise in music from his early childhood. Milind’s father (First Guru), Late Mr Atchut Raikar was a well know Harmonium player in Goa. His elder brother is an Accordion Player while his mother and second brother are Musical Drama directors. This reflected the constant musical flow in various forms running in the family.
At the age of only 5, Milind Raikar appeared on the stage for the first time as a singer. A young artiste Milind showed his musical prodigy as a guitarist in the year 1978. During his successive years, he played Bongo, Rhythm Guitar and Bass Guitar in his elder brother’s orchestra. In Goa & Mumbai, he also played guitar in other famous orchestras like Mahesh Kumar and Party, Sunheri Yadein, Didaar Singh and many more.
Later, he took up the violin to learn Western music and passed grade IV from Trinity College of London under the tutelage of Professor A. P. D’Costa. In 1981, he gave his first Violin performance in All Goa Violin Competition and attained first prize.
Even though Milind was learning and performing the western classical, his original inclination remained towards the Indian classical music. Realizing the talent in Milind, his father Mr. Atchut Raikar- a votary of Indian heritage of Classical Music and culture expressed a wish for his son to take up Indian Classical Music and devote for the cause of it. Post-completion of Inter-Arts from College, his father asked him to lay major focus on Indian Classical Music (Violin). He even further permitted him to quit further college studies.
His father believed that pure “Gayaki” with pure notes can be played only on Violin or Sarangi since these notes can be sustained for long duration. Moreover, ‘Violin is the closest instrument to the human voice’. Milind understood the gravity of his words to fulfill his father’s dream. He thus started learning the basics under him and dedicated himself fully to the service of Indian Classical Music.
Milind Raikar was much influenced by violinists Pt. M.S. Gopalkrishna and Pt. D.K.Datar. He also admired Indian classical music vocalists Gaansaraswati Kishori Amomkar, Ustad Amir Khan, Bhimsen Joshi to name a few.
He considers the initial training received from the scholar musician, Pandit B.S.Math of Dharwad, as the blessings of God, who was luckily settled in the same town as was Milind. Further, he underwent the training in vocal classical music from Pandit Vasantrao Kadnekar – a disciple of Pandit Ganpatrao Deavskar. As Milind showed extraordinary skills on violin, he was awarded the prestigious scholarship of ‘Kala Academy of Goa’ to undertake further studies in music in the year 1986.
In the same year, Milind had a privilege to learn advanced Indian Classical Music from Padmashree Pandit D. K Datar in Mumbai – the great, legendary master of violin and a leading exponent of Gwalior Gharana. Pandit D. K. Datar implanted a unique rich treasure of Indian Classical Music and the diversities in techniques of violin especially the ‘gayaki-ang’ (vocal style). This was a turning point in Milind’s life towards a matured and legendary solo violinist. Further, he was awarded Scholarships from Central Govt in 1993. Soon after, people started distinguishing him as a young master of violin for his excellence over the instrument.
Padmavibhushan GaanSaraswati Smt. Kishori Amonkar – leading exponent of Jaipur-Atrauli gharana once noticed his fine musical execution and considered to refine him further, under her able guidance. Thereafter since 1997, he started practicing under Smt. Kishori Amonkar as well as Pt.Babanrao Haldankar
Distinct Musical Qualities Of His Gharana:
Milind Raikar started with Gwalior Gharana from Pt.B.S.Math and Pt. Datarji. Having established his unique ‘gayaki’ style, Datarji’s fascinatingly belongs to his own ‘Datar Gharana”. Presently, Milind is learning gayaki style of Jaipur gharana (Smt. Kishori Tai). Thus, blending the musical style of two gharanas, he is developing new combinations of all his gurus.
Milind’s Style Of Hindustani Classical Music
Everybody develops his own style in music which strongly reflects his own Gharana Gayaki. Milind Raikar’s violin rendition clearly reflects influence of Pt. Datarji and Gaan Saraswati Kishori Tai. However, his violin is more towards Alaap-‘Softness and Soulfulness’. He believes in playing for the Soul, instead of just claps. His new gaayaki aang is Ati-vilambit (A slow rare rhythm ) and playing less drut ( fast). Conversely, he also has to fulfill the musical expectations of the audience. And so, he composes his performance accordingly to suit the audience.