Milan Turkovic is one of the few musicians to become famous as a bassoonist. Perhaps only Klaus Thunemann rivals him for preeminence among bassoon players from the second half of the 20th century. But, with over 40 recordings to his credit as a soloist and chamber player (and over 200 as an orchestral member!), Turkovic appears to have made more recordings than any other bassoonist in history. In addition, his repertory has been broad, ranging from Baroque to modern, inclusive of Bach family members, Vivaldi, Haydn, Mozart, Glinka, Brahms, Richard Strauss, Ibert, Hindemith, Wynton Marsalis, and via arrangement, Gershwin, Stravinsky, and many others. Beside his bassoon work in the solo, chamber, and orchestral realms, Turkovic has also appeared regularly as a conductor since the 1990s, typically leading chamber-sized orchestras and wind ensembles. If all this weren't enough, Turkovic has also taught bassoon, authored or co-authored three books on music, composed a cadenza for the Mozart Bassoon Concerto, and edited music by other composers. Turkovic's recordings are available on the labels of Archiv Produktion, Camerata, Capriccio, Delos DG, Orfeo, and Sony.
Milan Turkovic was born in Zagreb, Croatia, in 1939. He was raised and educated in Vienna. He joined the Vienna Symphony Orchestra early in his career, holding the post of principal bassoonist. From 1967, Turkovic has served as principal bassoonist with the Concentus Musicus, an original-instruments ensemble that has made over 200 recordings, including an acclaimed cycle of the J.S. Bach cantatas.
During his early years as an orchestral player, Turkovic was also active in the solo and chamber realms. In 1983 he became a founding member of Ensemble Wien-Berlin, a wind quintet in which he still regularly performs. Turkovic was professor of bassoon at the Salzburg Mozarteum from 1984-1992. Upon departure from that post he joined the faculty at the Vienna Conservatory, where he served until 2003. In 1998 Turkovic's first book, Was Musiker Tagsueber tun: senza sordino, was published in Vienna.
Throughout the latter years of the 20th century Turkovic was amassing a large discography, which included an acclaimed 1999 Sony CD of Wynton Marsalis' A Fiddler's Tale: Suite. Following his retirement from the Vienna Conservatory in 2003 Turkovic began devoting more time to conducting, leading such ensembles as the Vienna Radio Winds. Among his later recordings is the 2010 Camerata CD of an arrangement of Stravinsky's L'histoire du soldat and Marsalis' Meeelaan, a work specifically written for Turkovic.