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

The Times
Official Biography

Klaus Mäkelä has held the position of Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic since 2020 and Music Director of Orchestre de Paris since 2021. As Artistic Partner to the Concertgebouworkest since 2022 he will assume the title of Chief Conductor in 2027. An exclusive Decca Classics Artist, he has recorded the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle with the Oslo Philharmonic and Stravinsky’s Firebird and The Rite of Spring with Orchestre de Paris.

Following residencies with the Oslo Philharmonic at the Edinburgh and Lucerne festivals in August, Klaus Mäkelä opens his fourth season as Chief Conductor with Thomas Larcher’s Symphony No.2 and Mahler’s Symphony No.4. The 2023/24 includes seventeen concerts at home in Norway a three week tour of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan and guest performances in Hamburg, Amsterdam, Paris and Vienna. Programme highlights include Shostakovich’s Symphony No.7, Bartok’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle and Brahms’ Double Concerto, in which Mäkelä conducts and plays cello alongside violinist Daniel Lozakovich.

With Orchestre de Paris, Klaus Mäkelä performed Stravinsky’s Ballet Russes at the Festival d’Aix on Provence in a special collaboration with three film makers. Ballet Russes continues as a main focus of Mäkelä’s third season in Paris, including performances and a recording of Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Debussy’s Jeux and L’Après-midi d’un faune for Decca Classics. 2023/24 is also a season of pianists, featuring Bertrand Chamayou, Yuja Wang, Leif Ove Andnses, Danill Trifonov, Alexandre Kantorow and Lang Lang in repertoire ranging from Prokofiev and Rachmaninov to Ravel, Chopin and Saint-Saens. Additional highlights include world premieres by Unsuk Chin and Anna Thorvaldsdottir and the French premiere of Miroslav Srnka’s Superorganisms.

Mäkelä often compares the programming of concerts to curating exhibitions and he takes this literally with one of the six programmes he leads in his second season as Artistic Partner to the Concergetbouworkest. Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is partnered with de Falla’s Nights in the Gardens of Spain and Hawar Tawfiq’s M.C. Escher’s Imagination. Additional programmes include the pairing of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto with works by Betsy Jolas and Thomas Larcher and Beethoven’s Symphony No.3 with music by Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn. Mäkelä also leads the orchestra in performances of Mahler’s Symphony No.3 and Bruckner’s Symphony No.5, as part of a complete cycle celebrating the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

Klaus Mäkelä guest conducts three orchestras in the 2023/24 season, returning to the US to lead The Cleveland Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra and to Germany for three performances with Munich Philharmonic.

As a cellist Mäkelä partners with members of the Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and Concertgebouworkest for occasional programmes and each summer performs at the Verbier Festival in chamber music concerts with fellow artists.

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Upcoming Performances


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Paris, France

Philharmonie de Paris

Orchestre de Paris

Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 3
Pyotr Tchaikovsky
: The Nutcracker (Overture and Act 1)

Soloist: Leif Ove Andsnes


Paris, France

Philharmonie de Paris

Orchestre de Paris

Unsuk Chin: Subito con forza
Johann Sebastian Bach: Cantata BWV 82 “Ich habe genug”
György Ligeti: Atmosphères
Johannes Brahms: Symphony No. 4

Soloist: Peter Mattei


Amsterdam, Netherlands



Felix Mendelssohn: The Hebrides (Fingal’s Cave)
Fanny Henschel-Mendelsssohn: Hero und Leander
Felix Mendelssohn: Scherzo from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Felix MendelssohnInfelice
Ludvig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3 (Eroica)

Soloist:  Chen Reiss


Latest Updates


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RELEASE DATE: 24 MARCH - Klaus Mäkelä brings the Orchestre de Paris to the Decca label for a major new album of Stravinsky’s The Firebird and The Rite of Spring. The new release represents Mäkelä’s first recording with his French orchestra, which will be followed by a further Ballet Russes release in 2024 featuring Stravinsky’s {…}

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Klaus Mäkelä will be awarded the Sibelius Prize 2022 on 4 November at a special concert with the Oslo Philharmonic. The award is endowed by the Sibelius Society in Norway for outstanding efforts to promote contact between Finnish and Norwegian musical life. “From the start of his collaboration with the Oslo Philharmonic (OFO), Mäkelä {…}

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Acclaims & Features


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Reviews  |  

Orchestre de Paris on tour

"Klaus Mäkelä presented Stravinsky's musical fairy tale (The Firebird) as a largely lyrical play of tonal colours, finally firing up the finale with razor-sharp, controlled discharges of power." Der Standard, Christoph Irrgeher, 20 November 2023 "Great sensitivity, deep sensuality and dazzling beauty of sound were also the advantages of Maurice Ravel's “Shéhérazade” at {…}
Reviews  |  

Orchestre de Paris

"The programme for this concert has been very intelligently concocted … the conductor came up with the idea - at first sight absurd, but in truth vertiginous because of the connection it made - of linking, without a break, a Lachrimae Antiquae by John Dowland with Symphony No. 2 by Schumann … To go from four violins, two violas and a cello playing this poignant music by {…}
Reviews  |  


"Mäkelä's Mahler is out of this world … He opened the Concertgebouw Orchestra's subscription season on Thursday with a masterful interpretation of Mahler's Third Symphony. I realize you have to be careful with words like ‘masterful', but it was the only word that came to mind while listening to this exhilarating performance  …  all led in fantastic {…}

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