Klaus Mäkelä

Chief Conductor

Klaus Mäkelä © Marco Borggreve

Klaus Mäkelä is Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. With Orchestre de Paris he assumed the role of Music Director in September 2021 and has been the orchestra’s Artistic Advisor since the start of the 2020/21 season. He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony and Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival. An exclusive Decca Classics Artist, Klaus Mäkelä has recorded the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle with the Oslo Philharmonic as his first project for the label, to be released in 2022.

Klaus Mäkelä launched the Oslo Philharmonic 2021/22 season in August with a special concert featuring Saariaho’s Asteroid 4179: Toutatis, Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra, two new works by Norwegian composer Mette Henriette and Sibelius Lemminkäinen. A similarly wide range of repertoire is presented throughout his second season in Oslo, including major choral works by Bach, Mozart and William Walton, Mahler Symphony No. 3 and Shostakovich Symphonies Nos. 10 and 14 with soloists Mika Kares and Asmik Grigorian. Recent and new works include compositions by Sally Beamish, Unsuk Chin, Jimmy Lopez, Andrew Norman and Kaija Saariaho. In Spring 2022 Klaus Mäkelä and the Oslo Philharmonic will perform the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle at the Wiener Konzerthaus and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and give additional concerts at the Paris Philharmonie and London Barbican.

With Orchestre de Paris, Klaus Mäkelä performed at the summer festivals of Granada and Aix en Provence. For his first concert in the 2021/ 22 season he conducted a new work by Unsuk Chin entitled Spira, Richard Strauss Four Songs Op 27 with soloist Lise Davidsen and Mahler Symphony No. 1. His first season as Music Director also features the music of Ligeti and Dutilleux alongside Biber, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky.

In the 2021/22 season Klaus Mäkelä appears as a Portrait Artist at the Wiener Konzerthaus conducting the Wiener Symphoniker and Oslo Philharmonic and playing cello in chamber music. He also guest conducts the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Concertgebouworkest, London Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Münchner Philharmoniker.

In the 2020/21 season Klaus Makela appeared with the Concertgebouworkest, Münchner Philharmoniker, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, NDR Elbphilharmonie, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Tapiola Sinfonietta. As Artist in Residence at Spain’s Granada Festival he conducted the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada and Orchestre de Paris. At the Verbier Festival he conducted and performed cello in a chamber music programme.

Mäkelä studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy with Jorma Panula and cello with Marko Ylönen, Timo Hanhinen and Hannu Kiiski. As a soloist, he has performed with several Finnish orchestras and as a chamber musician with members of the Oslo Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He plays a Giovanni Grancino cello from 1698, kindly made available to him by the OP Art Foundation.

Text: Lucy Maxwell-Stewart