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

The Times
Official Biography

Klaus Mäkelä is Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. With Orchestre de Paris he assumed the role of Music Director in September 2021 and has been the orchestra’s Artistic Advisor since the start of the 2020/21 season.

He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony and Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival. 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, to be released in 2022.

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 Asmik Grigorian. Recent and new works include compositions by Sally Beamish, Unsuk Chin, Jimmy Lopez, Andrew Norman and Kaija Saariaho. In Spring 2022 Klaus Mäkelä and the Oslo Philharmonic will perform the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle at the Wiener Konzerthaus and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and give 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 conducting the Wiener Symphoniker and Oslo Philharmonic and playing cello in chamber music. He also 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 returns to the Verbier Festival to conduct the Verbier Festival and Verbier Festival Chamber orchestras as well as perform as a chamber musician. He also makes his first appearance at the Jurmala Festival in Riga with the Mariss Jansons Festival Orchestra.

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Upcoming Performances


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Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Sauli Zinovjev: Piano Concerto
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 6

Soloist: Vikingur Ólafsson



Orchestre de Paris

Johann Adolf Hasse: Fugue et grave
Johannes Brahms: Violin Concerto
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Adagio and Fugue
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Symphony No. 41 “Jupiter”

Soloist: Isabelle Faust



Orchestre de Paris – chamber music concert

Johannes Brahms: Trio for Clarinet, Cello & Piano
Johannes Brahms: Quintet for Clarinet & Strings

Musicians: Isabelle Faust (violin), Klaus Mäkelä (cello), Ilya Rachkovsky (piano) and members of the Orchestre de Paris


Latest Updates


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RELEASE DATE: 25 MARCH Decca has launched the pre-order for Klaus Mäkelä’s upcoming Sibelius release - a complete cycle of the symphonies, plus the tone poem Tapiola and 3 Late Fragments. Mäkelä, who recently became the first conductor to sign to Decca since Riccardo Chailly, directs the Oslo Philharmonic, an orchestra with a deep, {…}

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This Autumn Klaus Mäkelä began his first season as Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris and his second season as Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic. In Paris he started his tenure one year early, having had the chance to spend more time with the orchestra as a result of the pandemic. “Incredible, the path taken since his first {…}

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Acclaims & Features


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Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra

"Sauli Zinoviev's piano concerto should have been premiered almost two years ago, just after the pandemic struck and it would have been unsustainable to postpone the premiere once again. Although of course it would have been festive with an enthusiastically applauding audience after the euphoric finale … Ólafsson mastered to perfection all of Zinoviev's stylistic excursions, from {…}
Reviews  |  

Helsinki Philharmonic

"Mäkelä and HKO maintained the tension (in Mahler Symphony No.1). The bridles remained in the hand. This was characteristic of the whole interpretation: the mastery of the large phrases, the lightning-fast changes in the characters within them, natural as if breathing ... the fourth movement was magical. The energy intensified, and there was nothing more to wish for."Helsingin {…}

London Philharmonic Orchestra

"It’s not often you hear these three symphonic sketches (of La Mer) performed with such clarity and so much atmosphere. Light seemed to filter through every note, the playing was deft and precise, from cello choirs to horn chorales, sprays of glittering harps to dancing violins. Whether it was the sun strengthening from dawn to midday, or the turn from the horror to the majesty of {…}

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Jan 21
RT @operalastnight: Klaus is an exceptional individual on every level. The mouth waters at the prospect of this deeply prepared Sibelius cy…
Jan 21
RT @deccaclassics: We’re thrilled to present @klausmakela's debut album ‘Sibelius’, a complete cycle of the Jean Sibelius symphonies, plus…
Jan 21
The CD is available to pre-order now at this link: