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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Oslo, Norway


Oslo Philharmonic

Franz Schubert / Gustav Mahler: Der Tod und das Mädchen
Béla Bartók
: Bluebeard’s Castle

Soloists: Jennifer Johnston (soprano), Gerald Finley (baritone)


Paris, France

Philharmonie de Paris

Orchestre de Paris

Igor Stravinsky: The Firebird (ballet)
Igor Stravinsky
: The Rite of Spring

Featuring films by Rebecca Zlotowski and Evangelia Kranioti, produced in collaboration with the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence


Paris, France


Orchestre de Paris – Carte Blanche at the Louvre

Heinrich Biber: Battalia à 10
George Enesco: Octet for strings

Nikola Nikolov, Joseph André, Anne-Sophie Le Rol, Maya Koch, (violin)
Corentin Bordelot, David Gaillard, Nicolas Carles, Marie Poulanges (viola)
Klaus Mäkelä, Manon Gillardot (cello)
TBC (harpsichord)


Latest Updates


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RELEASE DATE: 8 MARCH - Decca Classics announces the upcoming release of Klaus Mäkelä’s second album with the Orchestre de Paris, featuring Stravinsky’s Pétrouchka and Debussy’s Jeux and Prélude à L’Après midi d’un faune. The new album follows the success of the first installment of their Ballets Russes {…}

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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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Acclaims & Features


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Feature  |  

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

"Only the greats can have so much 'new' and unique things to say about such a flatly played piece (as Mussorgsky's Pictures from an Exhibition). In every part, Mäkelä managed to reveal unsuspected details, with the brilliant orchestra always as his excellent instrument. And when we arrived in amazement at The Great Gate of Kiev, the orchestral floodgates opened at exactly the right {…}

Orchestre de Paris

"In the miniature overture and first act (of the Nutcracker), the Orchestre de Paris and its musical director were magnificent. For Mäkelä is an outstanding rhythmicist who always keeps the pulse even in the freest rubato, letting a magnificent orchestra perform while being there at strategic moments, giving this delightful, refined music, as tragic at times as one of the composer's {…}
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 {…}

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