Impressive is the maturity of Mäkelä, a conductor with clear ideas and a gentle manner… For him, music and musicians come first.

Official Biography

Klaus Mäkelä is Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. With Orchestre de Paris he assumed the role of Artistic Advisor in 2020 and becomes the orchestra’s Music Director in September 2021.

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 on 18 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 perform the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle at the Wiener Konzerthaus and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and tour to France and the UK.

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 conducts 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 Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Münchner Philharmoniker.

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Upcoming Performances


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Chamber Music concert – Wiener Konzerthaus “Artist Portrait” series

Antonín Dvořák: Piano Trio in E minor, Op. 90, Dumky-Trio
Robert Schumann: Piano Quintet in E flat Major, Op. 44

Chamber music concert with Julian Rachlin, Elise Båtnes (violin), Sarah McElravy (viola), Javier Perianes (piano)

© Oslo Philharmonic


Oslo Philharmonic

Gustav Holst: Hymn of Jesus
Ernest Bloch: Schelomo
William Walton: Belshazzar’s Feast

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



Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks

Béla Bartók: Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra No. 2
Bohuslav Martinů: Suite Concertante for Violin and Orchestra
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 4

Soloists: Frank Peter Zimmermann (violin), Anna Lucia Richter (mezzo-soprano)


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Invited as the Conductor in Residence of the 70th edition of the Granada Festival in Spain, Klaus Mäkelä leads three orchestras in diverse programmes. On 22 June Mäkelä led the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and pianist Javier Perianes in a programme of Sibelius and Grieg, followed a few days later with a concert featuring Jörg Widmann, Bartók {…}

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Klaus Mäkelä launches the Oslo Philharmonic 2021/22 season on 18 August with a special concert featuring Bartok Divertimento, Liszt Piano Concerto No.1 with soloist Yuja Wang, 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. {…}

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Acclaims & Features


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Orchestre de Paris, Granada Festival

"We heard a version (of Dvorak Symphony No. 9) that was exquisitely atmospheric, intense and narrative … And the sonorous vigour and preciousness did not diminish one iota in the Allegro con fuoco finale, where Mäkelä was able to link the synthesis of thematic elements with the Orchestre de Paris in this most joyful and dazzling interpretation." Scherzo, Pablo Rodriguez, 12 July {…}
Feature  |  

Platea Magazine: “Dirigir es una cuestión de comunicación”

De vitalidad desbordante y contagiosa, la batuta de Klaus Mäkelä es una de las más firmes realidades del presente y futuro de la dirección orquestal. No hay músico que no hable maravillas de su forma de dirigir, transmitir y, sobre todo, escuchar. Quizá esa haya sido la fórmula que le haya llevado a ser titular de la Filarmónica de Oslo y de la Orquesta de París, mientras {…}
Reviews  |  


"Judging by the fantastically soft sounds of the strings in Messiaen's Les offrandes oubliées, the orchestra is in excellent shape despite the pandemic. How beautifully Mäkelä allowed the sound to blossom with a kind of underhand movement from the forearm. Above the last section of this symphonic meditation from 1930, Messiaen wrote: 'Extremely slowly (with great pity and {…}

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Sep 18
In conversation with David Gaillard and Hervé Blandinières of the @OrchestreParis It was wonderful to be reunited…
Sep 05
Three beautiful weeks in Oslo with my dear friends and colleagues of the Oslo @Filharmonien, culminating in a memor…
Aug 28
From the official season opening of Oslo ⁦@Filharmonien⁩ earlier this week. We performed Mozart’s Mass in C minor &…