Music Director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, and a former assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, Maestro Thakar's appearances include concerts with that orchestra and some 40 others across North America. Baltimore Chamber Orchestra has performed a five-concert tour of China, and has recorded for the Naxos label, including a disk of music by Jonathan Leshnoff named to Naxos’ “Best of the Best” list. And in a 12-year tenure as Music Director, the Duluth Superior Symphony saw dramatic growth in both audience and artistic prominence to what Minnesota Public Radio called “Minnesota’s other great orchestra.”
Noted internationally as a pedagogue, he was for over two decades Co-Director of Graduate Conducting at the Peabody Conservatory, and his two annual intensive conducting programs with BCO have drawn conductors from five continents. His students have won significant conducting positions across North America and internationally, including music directorships with the Aachen (Germany), Winnipeg, Hartford, Eugene, Charleston, Lubbock, Muncie, Williamsport, Amarillo, Young Musician's Foundation, Lake Forest, Mid-Atlantic, Sioux City, Waterloo-Cedar Falls, Lake Charles, Washington-Idaho, and Grande Ronde Symphony Orchestras; staff conducting positions with the Metropolitan Opera and the orchestras of Philadelphia, New York, Los Angeles, Cincinnati, Dallas, Seattle, Saint Louis, Portland (OR), Richmond, Winnipeg, Portland (ME), Buffalo, Phoenix, Charlotte, Kansas City, Canton, Winston-Salem, and El Paso; as well as numerous collegiate positions.
Thakar is a protégé of the legendary Sergiu Celibidache, and a former Fulbright Fellow with degrees from The Juilliard School, Columbia University, and the Cincinnati College-Conservatory, with additional studies at the Curtis Institute and the Ciprian Porumbescu Conservatory in Bucharest, Romania. Other conducting studies were with Gustav Meier, Max Rudolf and Peter Perret.
Markand Thakar is the author of three seminal books. Counterpoint: Fundamentals of Music Making (Yale University Press), also issued in Italian and Czech, uses species counterpoint to promote an understanding of how both composer and performer contribute to the experience of musical beauty. Looking for the “Harp” Quartet; An Investigation into Musical Beauty (University of Rochester Press, 2011) is a study of musical beauty from the standpoint of the composer, performer and listener. And On the Principles and Practice of Conducting (University of Rochester Press, 2016) is a manual for conductors at all levels.