Klaus Mäkelä extends contract with Oslo Philharmonic

The Oslo Philharmonic extends contract with new chief conductor Klaus Mäkelä ahead of first season.

Klaus Mäkelä about his contract extension with the Oslo Philharmonic.

Video Anton Tevajärvi

The Oslo Philharmonic has announced a four-year contract extension with their new Chief Conductor and Artistic Adviser, Klaus Mäkelä, ahead of the start of his first season with the orchestra, taking the partnership to a total of seven seasons to come.

Klaus Mäkelä has already established a strong international presence through his instant musical connection with orchestras. In addition to his new role with the Oslo Philharmonic, Mäkelä is Principal Guest Conductor with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival and Artist in Association with the Tapiola Sinfonietta.

“In these current times of uncertainty, it is great to be able to make a new announcement about the future. The relationship between the Oslo Philharmonic and Klaus Mäkelä is already very special and by extending our contract with him from an initial three years to seven, it allows us to make plans for a substantial collaboration over time. We look forward to embarking on what I know will be an extraordinary musical journey as soon as concert life can resume to normal.”

Ingrid Røynesdal, CEO of the Oslo Philharmonic

“This commitment is of course hugely exciting for me and I cannot wait to begin my tenure with an orchestra I deeply love and respect. For a conductor there is nothing more important than a musical home where one can work extensively and where you feel that you breathe together with the musicians. The paradox of being a musician is that what we enjoy the most is the fact that we can always be better in the next concert and I am very happy to have found an orchestra like the Oslo Philharmonic which shares the same philosophy. Of course in this situation, being able to commit to the orchestra for the next seven years brings us both the opportunity to really grow together and experiment on a great variety of different styles of music.

One of our first big projects together will be performing all seven symphonies by Sibelius − music which is part of the orchestra’s and my DNA. Throughout the season I have made a point of programming Sibelius’ music alongside particular works by Mozart, Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Ravel and Penderecki amongst others. These couplings are designed to take us on a journey that I believe might well change our approach to each symphony."

Klaus Mäkelä

The orchestra was due to say their fond farewells earlier this month to Vasily Petrenko, Chief Conductor since 2013, who recently led the Oslo Philharmonic on a European tour celebrating its 100th anniversary. Petrenko’s final concerts have had to been cancelled due to the pandemic and the start of Klaus Mäkelä’s first season may inevitably be affected too. However the Oslo Philharmonic still remains hopeful that they will be able to perform as much of the upcoming season’s programming as possible.

Watch Klaus Mäkelä with the Oslo Philharmonic perform Beethoven's Symphony No. 9:

Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 performed by the Oslo Philharmonic with Oslo Philharmonic Choir and soloists, conducted by Klaus Mäkelä.

From Oslo Philharmonic's Youtube channel