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, from Autumn 2022, Artistic Partner of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. An exclusive Decca Classics Artist, he has recorded the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle with the Oslo Philharmonic as his first project for the label.

Mäkelä’s third season as Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic features eleven contrasting programmes, with repertoire ranging from Jean Baptiste Lully and Pietro Locatelli to Alban Berg and Mahler to Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Julia Perry. In Autumn 2022, Mäkelä and the Oslo Philharmonic embark on their second European tour with performances in Germany, Belgium and Austria with soloist Sol Gabetta.

For his second season as Music Director of the Orchestra de Paris, Klaus Mäkelä has chosen to spotlightcomposers Pascal Dusapin, Betsy Jolas, Jimmy López Bellido, Magnus Lindberg and Kaija Saariaho, the latter featured with three different works. There is also a focus on the Ballets Russes, with two key Diaghilev scores: Stravinsky’s The Firebird and Rite of Spring. In Spring 2023, Mäkelä and Orchestre de Paris tour throughout Europe with Janine Jansen as soloist.

With the Concertgebouw Orchestra Klaus Mäkelä embarks on a long-term collaboration, joining the orchestra as Artistic Partner with effect from the 2022-23 season and as its next Chief Conductor in 2027. For their first season together, they perform six programmes including Mahler Symphony No. 6, the Mozart Requiem and Strauss Alpine Symphony as well premieres by López Bellido, Sauli Zinovjev, Alexander Raskatov and Sally Beamish. On tour they performed the opening concert of the Musikfest Berlin and at the Koln Philharmonie.

As a guest conductor in the 2022/23 season Klaus Mäkelä makes his first appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Gewandhausorchester and Wiener Symphoniker and returns to the USA to conduct the Cleveland Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

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 at the Verbier Festival, as well as with members of the Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

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Upcoming Performances


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Oslo, Norway


Oslo Philharmonic

Claude Debussy: Iberia
Jimmy López Bellido: Piano Concerto, Ephemerae
Igor Stravinsky: Petrushka
Manuel de Falla: The Three-Cornered Hat, Suite No. 2

Soloist: Javier Perianes

© Orchestre de Paris - William Beaucardet

Paris, France


Orchestre de Paris

Kaija Saariaho: Vista
Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major
Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring

Soloist: Alice Sara Ott


Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo Metropolitan Theatre

Orchestre de Paris on tour

Claude Debussy: La Mer
Maurice Ravel: Bolero
Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring



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Klaus Mäkelä and the Oslo Philharmonic' Sibelius album has been chosen for the 2022 Edison Klassiek Debut Award. Announcing the award the jury commented: "Ambitious" is an understatement for this debut by the young Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä. He chose to record all the symphonies of his hard-to-fathom compatriot Sibelius with the Oslo {…}

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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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Acclaims & Features


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"In Mahler's exhilarating Sixth Symphony, both Mäkelä and the orchestra pulled out all the stops  … It was a Mahler full of melodiousness and testosterone; fierce and earthy, in the heavenly vistas less ethereal than imaginable … The final movement, with its nightmarish harps and deadly knocks, was ominous and overwhelming."NRC, Mischa Spel, 20 August 2022 "Have we ever heard {…}
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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 {…}
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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 {…}

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Bruno Monsaingeon in Paris last night
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RT @GautierCapucon: Notre bis hier soir et ce soir @philharmonie avec @klausmakela 🎶 Duo de J.B Barriere ! @orchestredeparis…