Abhishek Borkar, a young and versatile musician, was drawn to the sound of the sarod from a very early age. Born into a musically rich environment, in Pune, he initially underwent training in vocal and tabla, at age 4, before anchoring himself on the sarod, under the tutelage of his father and Guru Pt. Shekhar Borkar, under the Maihar Senia Gharana.
Rigorous and intensive training followed. At the age of ten, he presented his first concert for which young Abhishek was lauded for his erudite performance by many connoisseurs of music. Many accolades and awards followed. He was awarded a National Talent scholarship instituted by the C.C.R.T (Government of India) at the age of 11, and was subsequently specially invited to participate in many of their camps for outstanding young scholars. He released his first solo CD titled ‘Pratibha’ in 2008, at the age of 16. In 2015, he was a prize winner at the National Youth Festival held in Indore, as well as at Mysore, in 2016. He also went on to receive the Senior scholarship instituted by the Ministry of Culture, in 2016. He was conferred with the Ajay Bakshi Smruti Puraskar in 2018. Recently he was awarded the Gaansaraswati Kishori Amonkar Yuva Puraskar in 2019.
Following the footsteps of his father, today, Abhishek’s renditions are characterized by a unique blend of the sarod, sitar, sarangi and vocal styles of Hindustani Music and has resulted in him creating a niche for himself at a very young age. His natural instinct for aesthetic music coupled with his incredible control over sur and laya have enthralled audiences in various parts of the world. Duet performances with his older brother Praashekh have also received critical acclaim. Together, they have performed all over India. Abhishek has featured in a number of music festivals such as The Pune Festival, Dharwad Music Festival(2005 and 2011), Dadar Matunga Cultural Centre Festival (2007), Bajaa Gaaja Pune (2012), Ustad Abdul Karim Khansaheb Sangeet Mahotsav, Miraj (2013), Kala Ghoda Festival, Mumbai, Tarang Hyderabad Music Conference (2014), Kalashree Sangeet Mahotsav (2015), Naadotsav, Baroda (2015), Peshkar Foundation (2015), Moraya Gosavi Sangeet Sammelan (2015), Simhastha Mahakumbh Kala Utsav, Ujjain
(2016), Sawai Gandharva Sangeet Mahotsav, Kundgol (2016), Swarbhaskar Mahotsav
(2016), Gokarna Annual Music Festival (2017), Anunaad Sangeet Mahotsav (2017), First Edition Arts' Crossroads, Mumbai (2017), Bhilwara Sur Sangam, New Delhi (2018), Sur Sagar (2018), Sanskruti Arts Festival (2019), Gaansaraswati Mahotsav (2019) and has toured extensively in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, Australia and the UK. Recently performed at the Darbar Festival in London in 2019.
The melody in Abhishek’s music exhibits the influence of his idols, Ustad Allauddin Khan, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan, Pt. Nikhil Banerjee and of course his father, Pt. Shekhar Borkar and the intricate layakari, the guidance of Pt. Shashi Bellare. Equally adept at playing the guitar coupled with his knowledge of western music and instrumentation has led Abhishek to teach and mentor a number of students in the field of music.
A Commerce graduate, Abhishek has completed his masters in Indian Music. In the coming decades, Abhishek aims to carry the beacon of Indian music and take the magnum opus of his father Pt. Shekhar Borkar – the creation of ‘Tarankaar Baaz’ and the ‘Sur-tarang’ to the world. In his words, ‘the limitations of the sarod can be surpassed because music comes from the heart, and the heart never ceases to sing’.