Harald Winkler was born in East Berlin in 1962. After his musical studies in Berlin he was first engaged by the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra before becoming a member of the Staatskapelle Dresden. In 1990 he became a member of the Staatskapelle Berlin at the Berlin State Opera.
In 1992 he was invited by the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin to participate in a CD recording and since then has enjoyed a close relationship with the ensemble, participating in numerous CD productions, opera performances and concert tours with the group. He also works regularly with other ensembles as well, including the Berliner Barock-Compagney, Concerto Köln, Preussens Hofmusik, Dresden Barockorchester, and the Carl Philip Emanuel Bach Chamber Orchestra. Since 2007 he has been a member of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra.