Official Biography


Chief Conductor &
Artistic Advisor

Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra

Klaus Mäkelä commenced his first season as Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in August 2020. With Orchestre de Paris he assumes the role of Artistic Advisor from 2020/21 for two seasons, before becoming the orchestra’s next Music Director from September 2022. He is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Artist in Association with Tapiola Sinfonietta, and Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival.

Alongside Sibelius, whose symphonies are the main thread running throughout his first season with the Oslo Philharmonic, Klaus Mäkelä leads the orchestra in repertoire ranging from Mozart to Mahler and introduces new and recent works by Sauli Zinovjev, Mette Henriette, Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Lotta Wennäkoski. This season he also conducts the Orchestre de Paris in five concerts with music spanning from Ravel and Debussy to Mahler, Bruckner, Messiaen and Boulez. In October 2020 Klaus Mäkelä made his debut with the Concertgebouworkest, conducting a programme which included the premiere of subito con forza by Unsik Chin, and returned to Amsterdam at short notice to lead the orchestra in its Christmas Matinée. During the 2020/21 season Klaus Mäkelä also made his first appearance with the Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino and returned to conduct the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Frankfurt Radio Symphony. He continues his partnerships with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Tapiola Sinfonietta, where he completes a Beethoven Cycle spanning three seasons.

Highlights from the 2019/20 season include appearances with the Cleveland, Frankfurt Radio, City of Birmingham Symphony orchestras, Hallé, Bamberger Symphoniker, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Münchner Philharmoniker, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Mäkelä made his operatic debut with the Finnish National Opera in 2017, conducting The Magic Flute and a concertante performance of Erkki Melartin’s Aino.

Mäkelä studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy with Jorma Panula and cello with Marko Ylönen, Timo Hanhinen and Hannu Kiiski. As a soloist, he has performed with several Finnish orchestras and as a chamber musician with members of the Oslo Philharmonic, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France ,as well as at many Finnish festivals. He plays a Giovanni Grancino cello from 1698, kindly made available to him by the OP Art Foundation.


Chief Conductor & Artistic Advisor

Artistic Director & Music Director Designate

Principal Guest Conductor

Artistic Director

Artist in Association