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 Orchestra, Music Director of Orchestre de Paris and, since Autumn 2022, Artistic Partner of the Concertgebouw Orchestra. An exclusive Decca Classics Artist, he has recorded the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle with the Oslo Philharmonic as his first project for the label.

Mäkelä’s third season as Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic features eleven contrasting programmes, with repertoire ranging from Jean Baptiste Lully and Pietro Locatelli to Alban Berg and Mahler to Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Julia Perry. In Autumn 2022, Mäkelä and the Oslo Philharmonic embark on their second European tour with performances in Germany, Belgium and Austria with soloist Sol Gabetta.

For his second season as Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris, Klaus Mäkelä has chosen to spotlightcomposers Pascal Dusapin, Betsy Jolas, Jimmy López Bellido, Magnus Lindberg and Kaija Saariaho, the latter featured with three different works. There is also a focus on the Ballets Russes, with two key Diaghilev scores: Stravinsky’s The Firebird and Rite of Spring. In Spring 2023, Mäkelä and Orchestre de Paris tour throughout Europe with Janine Jansen as soloist.

With the Concertgebouworkest Klaus Mäkelä embarks on a long-term collaboration, joining the orchestra as Artistic Partner with effect from the 2022-23 season and as its next Chief Conductor in 2027. For their first season together, they perform six programmes including Mahler Symphony No. 6, the Mozart Requiem and Strauss Alpine Symphony as well premieres by López Bellido, Sauli Zinovjev, Alexander Raskatov and Sally Beamish. On tour they performed the opening concert of the Musikfest Berlin and at the Koln Philharmonie.

As a guest conductor in the 2022/23 season Klaus Mäkelä makes his first appearances with the New York Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker, Gewandhausorchester and Wiener Symphoniker and returns to the USA to conduct the Cleveland Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

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 at the Verbier Festival, as well as with members of the Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

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Upcoming Performances


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Stadium de Vitrolles © Paul Raftery

Aix en Provence, France

Stadium de Vitrolles

Orchestre de Paris – Aix en Provence Festival

Igor Stravinsky: “Ballet Russes”
Three filmmakers revisit Stravinsky’s masterpieces performed live in concert

Rebecca Zlotowski: Film The Firebird
Bertrand Mandico: Film Petrushka
Evangelia Kranioti: Film The Rite of Spring
Urs Schönebaum: Scenic and lighting design

Verbier, Switzerland

Église de Verbier

Verbier Festival – chamber music concert

Sergei Rachmaninov: Cello Sonata in G minor
Sergei Rachmaninov: Trio élégiaque No. 1 in G minor
Johannes Brahms: Piano Quartet No. 2 in A major

Daniel Lozakovich (violin), Antonoine Tamestit (viola), Klaus Mäkelä (cello), Yuja Wang (piano)




Verbier, Switzerland

Salle des Combins

Verbier Festival

Sergei Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor
Richard Strauss: An Alpine Symphony

Verbier Festival Orchestra
Soloist: Mikhail Pletnev


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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Reviews  |  

Oslo Philharmonic

"Throughout the symphony (Shostakovich Symphony No. 5), Mäkelä has a fierce drive forward with violent climaxes and biting sarcasm. In the slow third movement, which can often stall, it is the lyrical nerve of the strings that drives the music forward."Aftenposten, Aksel Dalmo, 28 May 2023"Mäkelä focused a lot of attention on the Oslo strings and they played with high energy, but {…}

Orchestre de Paris

"The Adagio alone could sum up the (Leningrad) symphony with its mixture of tense lyricism, desolation and warlike march, whose alternation is perfectly organised by Klaus Mäkelä's clear and precise conducting in a vast lamento where the strings in particular stand out, with magnificent double basses, a viola section that will bring tears to your eyes, a superb oboe-English horn duet {…}

London Philharmonic

"Something invincible courses through Thomas Larcher’s Symphony No 2 ... is it the sea, fear, or the will to live? This 2016 work, subtitled Kenotaph, is a searing commemoration of the thousands of refugees who had drowned in the Mediterranean. It’s a dazzling piece of writing that manages to evoke terror with its sounds of heavy sea swell and panic with its jangling {…}

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