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.

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 is followed by a tour, in which they perform 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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Oslo Philharmonic – Hamburg Elbphilharmonie

Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 1
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 6
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 7

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Oslo Philharmonic – Hamburg Elbphilharmonie

Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 2
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 4

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Oslo Philharmonic – Hamburg Elbphilharmonie

Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 3
Jean Sibelius: Symphony No. 5


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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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For his second season as Music Director of the Orchestra de Paris, Klaus Mäkelä has chosen to focus on today's composers: 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 three key Diaghilev scores: Ravel's {…}

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Acclaims & Features


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Sibelius album review – El Pais

“Mäkelä does not imitate anyone, and it could even be said that he does not remind you of anyone. He has his own ideas and a very clear concept of how symphonic Sibelius should sound. The woodwinds and the low strings - both essential in the orchestral writing of his compatriot - always have the necessary density and sonorous presence. The post-romantic heritage is sifted by a {…}

Oslo Philharmonic – Paris

"This performance of Mahler's Third Symphony proved to be masterful from start to finish. Throughout the six movements, the orchestra, charged to the max, appeared to be of an exceptional level, without any weakness and with total commitment. And the tension constantly instilled by Klaus Mäkelä pushes it to its limits, but without ever breaking apart.""From the first movement {…}

Sibelius album review – Classica Magazine

"At the head of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Finnish Klaus Mäkelä is the youngest conductor to have recorded all seven Sibelius symphonies ... It is clear that the result is a masterpiece. Mäkelä brings to the fore a rhythmic rigour and depth that is perceptible as early as the First Symphony ... Never one-dimensional, his conducting triumphs in Symphony No. 3, which is {…}

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Follow On:
May 24
RT @MatthiasNaske: With a remarkable performance of Jean Sibelius Symphony No.3 & No.5 @klausmakela finished his all Sibelius residency wit…
May 22
RT @MatthiasNaske: @klausmakela started his journey through all the symphonies of Jean Sibelius with Oslo Philharmonic @Konzerthauswien wit…
May 21
RT @larkingrumple: Jean Sibelius commemorated along Vienna’s “Music Mile”. Over the next three evenings, @klausmakela conducts @Filharmonie