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 since 2020 and Music Director of Orchestre de Paris since 2021. As Artistic Partner of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, he assumes the title of Chief Conductor at the start of the 2027/28 season. An exclusive Decca Classics Artist, Mäkelä has recorded the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle with the Oslo Philharmonic and two albums featuring Ballets Russes scores by Stravinsky and Debussy with Orchestre de Paris.

Mäkelä’s fourth season with the Oslo Philharmonic opened with residencies at the Edinburgh and Lucerne Festivals and closes with guest performances at the Salzburg Festival and Musikfest Berlin. The orchestra’s most ambitious international season to date also includes a tour of Asia and concerts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Paris Philharmonie and Vienna Konzerthaus. Season programme highlights include Bartók’s Duke Bluebeard’s Castle with Jennifer Johnston and Gerald Finley, Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 7 and Brahms’ Double Concerto, in which Mäkelä conducts and plays cello alongside violinist Daniel Lozakovich.

The Ballets Russes continues as a major focus of Mäkelä’s third season with the Orchestre de Paris, at home in the Paris Philharmonie, on tour to the States and on their second recording for Decca Classics, featuring Stravinsky’s Petrushka, Debussy’s Jeux and L’Après-midi d’un faune. Additional highlights of the 2023/24 season include a series of carte blanche concerts at the Louvre Museum in which Mäkelä conducts and plays cello with fellow orchestral musicians, as well as performances at major summer festivals including Granada, Aix-en-Provence, the BBC Proms and Lucerne.

With the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Mäkelä conducts six programmes this season, concluding with 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. Guest performances include a residency at the Vienna Musikverein and the opening concert of the Dresden Festival.

In April 2024, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra announced Klaus Mäkelä as its next Music Director, starting 2027/28. As Music Director Designate he commences artistic responsibilities this season and returns to Chicago to conduct the orchestra in Spring 2025.

As a cellist Mäkelä partners with members of the Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for special 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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Cleveland, United States

Severance Music Center

Cleveland Orchestra

Jimmy López Bellido: Perú negro
Edward Elgar: Cello Concerto
William Walton: Belshazzar’s Feast

Soloists: Sol Gabetta (cello), Thomas Hampson (baritone)


Cleveland, Unites States

Severance Music Center

Cleveland Orchestra

Darius Milhaud: Le Boeuf sur le toit
George Gershwin: Concerto in F
Igor Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring
Soloist: Jean-Yves Thibaudet


Oslo, Norway


Oslo Philharmonic

Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7 «Leningrad»


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The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has announced Klaus Mäkelä as its next music director, the eleventh in the ensemble’s 133-year history. Following a term as Zell Music Director Designate, effective immediately, Mäkelä will begin an initial five-year tenure as Zell Music Director in September 2027. In this role, he will conduct the {…}

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Hot off the heels of the critically accliamed tour to the States and Canada, the Orchestre de Paris has announced the programme for it's fourth season with Klaus Mäkelä. With a focus on French composers and new works, the 2024 / 25 season pays tribute to the anniversaries of both Ravel and Boulez and features music by Berlioz, Fauré, Debussy, {…}

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Acclaims & Features


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Reviews  |  

Ballets Russes album review – Gramophone

Petrushka comes home. To Paris if not the Théâtre du Châtelet. Following on from Klaus Mäkelä’s handsome coupling of Stravinsky’s Rite and Firebird ballets (5/23) the headline feature of this terrific Petrushka is characterisation. It’s a performance full of animation and incident and from the Orchestre de Paris and their impressive line-up of wind soloists a {…}
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Orchestre de Paris – North America & Canada tour

"Mäkelä and the players fed off each other’s energy to produce a performance that one hopes was as breathtaking for them to play as it was for the audience to hear … The shattering end of the Rite brought the audience instantly to its feet - in recognition, one hoped, as much of musical history brought to life as of the achievement of these immensely accomplished visitors from {…}
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Orchestre de Paris

" A dazzling concert presenting the 3 great ballets of 1909-1913 by Igor Stravinsky, Firebird, Petrushka and The Rite of Spring, a dream I'd always had of hearing all three in the same concert, and with the quality of performance offered this evening ... gorging myself on the constantly renewed hectic rhythms, the fabulous gleam of the timbres, the impressive instrumental velocity, the {…}

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