Here was something truly special: a conductor who revelled in freshly imagining each sound.

The Times
Official Biography

Klaus Mäkelä is Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of Orchestre de Paris and Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival. In June 2022, the Concertgebouw Orchestra announced that in a ten-year commitment, Mäkelä is joining the orchestra as artistic partner with effect from the 2022/23 season, then as chief conductor from 2027. 

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 Mirjam Mesak. Recent and new works include compositions by Sally Beamish, Unsuk Chin, Jimmy Lopez Bellido, Andrew Norman and Kaija Saariaho.
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. The March 2022 release was followed by a tour, in which they performed the Sibelius cycle in Residency at the Wiener Konzerthaus and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, with  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 and guest conducts the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Royal Concertgebouworkest, London Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Münchner Philharmoniker. In summer 2022 he makes his first appearance at the BBC Proms with the Oslo Philharmonic and returns to the Verbier Festival to conduct the Verbier Festival and Verbier Festival Chamber orchestras as well as perform as a chamber musician.

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Upcoming Performances


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Amsterdam, Netherlands


Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Kaija Saariaho: Orion
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 6


Oslo, Norway


Oslo Philharmonic

Johann Sebastian Bach / Luciano Berio: Contrapunctus XIX
Alban Berg:  Violin Concerto
Gustav Mahler:  Symphony No. 5

Soloist: Isabelle Faust


Odense Koncerthus, Denmark

Carl Nielsen Festival

Oslo Philharmonic on tour

Carl Nielsen: Helios Overture
Alban Berg: Violin Concerto
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Soloist: Isabelle Faust


Latest Updates


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The Concertgebouw Orchestra has announced the start of a long-term collaboration with Klaus Mäkelä, who joins as Artistic Partner with effect from the 2022/2023 season and will become the orchestra’s eighth Chief Conductor in 2027. As Artistic Partner, Klaus Mäkelä will work closely with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, commencing this {…}

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Klaus Mäkelä's third season as Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic features 11 contrasting programmes, with repertoire ranging from Jean Baptiste Lully and Pietro Locatelli to Alban Berg and Icelandic composer, Anna Thorvaldsdottir. Highlights of the new season include a tour to the UK, Germany, Netherlands and Austria and a return to the {…}

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Acclaims & Features


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Reviews  |  

Oslo Philharmonic – BBC Proms

"Finnish music from mythic forests set us off — Sibelius’s Tapiola. It began with the Oslo strings growling portentously, a deeply satisfying sound from the bass up, aided by Makela’s imaginative placement of the violas on his right, facing the first violins. There were breathtaking pianissimi chords and, towards the end, a violent, startling crescendo. These expressive {…}
Reviews  |  

Münchner Philharmoniker

"An ovation for Lisa Batiashvili, who, together with Mäkelä and the orchestra, which was rhythmically and tonally very alert at every moment under his clear direction, impressively fulfilled Shostakovich's concerto in all aspects, from deep sadness and bleak bitterness to crass outbursts of rage and wild raging ... And then Mahler's First: Klaus Mäkelä, with all the versatility {…}

Oslo Philharmonic – London Barbican

"No matter which Sibelius symphony you hear, and however well known, in a great interpretation it always sounds absolutely fresh and fathomlessly deep. So it was with this brilliantly lit Fifth, so radiant from the pairs of woodwind at the start before the retreat into meandering mystery, pppp, tremolos so intense they brought tears to the eyes and a perfectly gauged crescendo to the {…}

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Follow On:
Aug 12
RT @kaupokikkas: Oslo Phil is marching in. Tonight at the Royal Albert Hall with Klaus Mäkelä. Probably one of the best R Strauss brass-sec…
Aug 12
Tonight at the Proms with dearest Oslo Philharmonic Sibelius: Tapiola Liszt: Piano Concerto No. 1 with Yuja Wang S…
Aug 02
RT @YujaWang: It's always electric to make music with @klausmakela. Watch our performance of Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat Major,…

Chief Conductor & Artistic Advisor

   Music Director & Artistic Director

      Artistic Partner (Season 2022/23)

           Artistic Director