Markand Thakar earned a BM in Composition from The Juilliard School, an MA in Music Theory from Columbia University, and a DMA in Orchestral Conducting from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. Awarded a Fulbright Fellowship for study of conducting in Romania, his principal conducting studies were with Sergiu Celibidache in Munich.
Maestro Thakar is music director of the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, having previously served as assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic, music director of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, principal conductor of the Duluth Festival Opera, associate conductor of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, and director of orchestras at the Penn State and Ohio University Schools of Music. As guest conductor he has appeared with orchestras across the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Europe and Asia. An internationally renowned pedagogue, his two annual training programs with the BCO attract conductors from five continents. He has been guest faculty at the International Conducting Institute in the Czech Republic, at conducting workshops with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and at the conducting programs of Indiana University, Northwestern University, and Bard College. Maestro Thakar is author of three seminal books: On the Principles and Practice of Conducting (University of Rochester Press, expected 2016), Looking for the "Harp" Quartet: An Investigation into Musical Beauty (University of Rochester Press, 2011), and Counterpoint: Fundamentals of Music Making (Yale University Press, 1990).