Marc Minkowski was one of the most promising conductors to emerge in the 1990s, having carved out a niche for himself (and his hand-picked ensemble, Les Musiciens du Louvre) in the lesser-known works of the French and Italian Baroque.
In the competitive fields of early music and historical performance, he has garnered considerable critical acclaim and managed to bring works of relative obscurity to the attention of wider audiences. Although a number of leading conductors in the historical performance movement have begun to perform and record mainstream Classical and Romantic repertory, Minkowski was in the forefront of this development.
Born in Paris on October 4, 1962, Minkowski began his career as a bassoonist, becoming a Baroque specialist during his tenure with such ensembles as Les Arts Florissants, the Clemencic Consort of Vienna, and La Chapelle Royale. His interest in conducting flourished during studies with the highly respected French conductor Charles Bruck at the Pierre Monteux School in Hancock, Maine. After taking first prize at the first International Early Music Competition in Bruges (1984), Minkowski founded his own early instrument ensemble, Les Musiciens du Louvre, with which he has made the bulk of his recordings.
Minkowski's recorded repertoire in the 21st century, befitting his multiple talents, has been spread across a number of music labels, including Naïve, Decca, Erato, Brilliant, and others. He has been able to marshal the resources to perform and record Baroque operas such as Rameau's Anacréon (2009), and he has continued to unearth little-known works such as Grétry's La Caravane du Caire. Increasingly, however, his efforts have been focused on repertory of the late 18th and 19th centuries. In 2013 he conducted a recording of Wagner's Der fliegende Holländer, paired with a little-known setting of a condensed version of the Wagner libretto by Pierre-Louis Dietsch. In 2017 Minkowski and Les Musiciens du Louvre issued a critically acclaimed recording of Bach's St. John Passion, BWV 245.