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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Paris, France

Philharmonie de Paris

Orchestre de Paris

Claude Debussy: Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto in G major
Maurice Ravel: Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
Béla Bartók: The Miraculous Mandarin (Suite)

Soloist: Yuja Wang


Oslo, Norway


Oslo Philharmonic

Lars Petter Hagen: The Artist’s Despair Before the Grandeur of Ancient Ruins
Jean Sibelius: Violin Concert

Soloist: Janine Jansen


Oslo, Norway


Oslo Philharmonic

Lars Petter Hagen: The Artist’s Despair Before the Grandeur of Ancient Ruins
Jean Sibelius: Violin Concert
Richard Strauss: Ein Heldenleben

Soloist: Janine Jansen


Latest Updates


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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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Klaus Mäkelä will be awarded the Sibelius Prize 2022 on 4 November at a special concert with the Oslo Philharmonic. The award is endowed by the Sibelius Society in Norway for outstanding efforts to promote contact between Finnish and Norwegian musical life. “From the start of his collaboration with the Oslo Philharmonic (OFO), Mäkelä {…}

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Acclaims & Features


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"Mäkelä's Mahler is out of this world … He opened the Concertgebouw Orchestra's subscription season on Thursday with a masterful interpretation of Mahler's Third Symphony. I realize you have to be careful with words like ‘masterful', but it was the only word that came to mind while listening to this exhilarating performance  …  all led in fantastic {…}

Oslo Philharmonic on tour

Shostakovich Symphony No. 5:“In a truly magnificent performance Mäkelä squeezed out every drop of energy at key moments, the burnished Oslo heavy brass and stormy unison strings notching up the turmoil … keeping undercurrents turbulent, he struck the ambiguous balance with thrilling perfection.” *****, David Smythe, 23 August 2023 “The opening movement {…}
Reviews  |  

BBC Symphony Orchestra at the London Proms

"What could follow all this aural splendour and magic? More of the same but taken to the nth degree, was the answer, as the BBC SO and Chorus came together for that Proms favourite William Walton’s brazenly dramatic Belshazzar’s Feast. Both were on terrific form, both gave their all under Mäkelä’s rivetingly incisive direction."The Telegraph, Ivan Hewett, 5 August 2023"Energy {…}

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