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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Aix en Provence, France

Grand Théâtre de Provence

Orchestre de Paris on tour – Festival d’Aix en Provence

Arnold Schönberg: Verklärte Nacht
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 4

Soloist: Christiane Karg


Verbier, Switzerland

Salle des Combins

Verbier Festival

Ludwig van Beethoven: Triple Concerto
Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 3

Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle (conductor)

Soloists: Leonidas Kavakos (violin), Klaus Mäkelä (cello), Lahav Shani (piano)



Verbier, Switzerland

Salle des Combins

Verbier Festival

Johann Sebastian Bach: Piano Concerto No. 1
Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5

Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra
Soloist: David Fray (piano)



Latest Updates


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Following their highly acclaimed cycle of the complete Sibelius symphonies, Decca Classics is thrilled to announce the release of Shostakovich Symphonies 4, 5, & 6 with Klaus Mäkelä and the Oslo Philharmonic on 14 August 2024. To celebrate the release, the Oslo Philharmonic and Klaus Mäkelä launch their 5th season with a special {…}

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The Oslo Philharmonic and Klaus Mäkelä commence their 5th season with a special concert in August, celebrating the release of their first recording in a new Shostakovich series for Decca Classics, featuring symphonies nos, 4, 5 and 6. The music of Shostakovich has been core to Mäkelä and the Oslo Philharmonic’s programming from the start {…}

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Acclaims & Features


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Reviews  |  

Concertgebouw Orchestra

" Bruckner's perfect blueprint was transformed by the conductor and superior playing of the orchestra into a living structure with unexpected floors, and corridors leading up to them. In short, Mäkelä's first Bruckner in Amsterdam was an instant hit."Trouw, Peter van der Lint, 3 May 2024" ... Mäkelä conducted as we have come to expect from him since his debut only three and a half {…}
Reviews  |  

Cleveland Orchestra

“... the large body of musicians dug deep into their physical resources, producing a Rite that was singularly explosive and terrifying in its power … Mäkelä’s pacing with its subtle tempo changes moved Stravinsky’s music from one section to another, all the while allowing an enormous arch to emerge that is frequently lacking in performances. The conductor built the work {…}
Reviews  |  

Cleveland Orchestra

"Cleveland Orchestra fans who hopped on guest conductor Klaus Mäkelä's magic carpet at Severance Music Center on Thursday evening were swept away to the streets of Lima to hear Peruvian street vendors hawking their goods, then to England for a ramble through the Malvern Hills, and finally to ancient Iraq to quaff wine with the king of Babylon and a thousand of his idol-worshiping {…}

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