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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Oslo, Norway


Oslo Philharmonic

Ludwig van Beethoven: Missa Solemnis


Amsterdam, Netherlands


Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra

Claude Debussy: Jeux
Sally Beamish: Distans – concerto for clarinet, violin and orchestra
Claude Debussy: Images
Maurice Ravel: Bolero

Soloists: Martin Fröst and Janine Jansen

© Orchestre de Paris - William Beaucardet

Paris, France


Orchestre de Paris

Sergei: Prokofiev: Scythian Suite
Magnus Lindberg: Piano Concerto
Pyotr Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”

Soloist: Yuja Wang


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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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Stravinsky album review – Wiener Zeitung

"How many conductors have recorded Stravinsky's "Sacre du printemps" and  "Firebird" on one disc? It feels like there must be hundreds; spits out about 50 hits for the corresponding search terms. One thing is certain: anyone who wants to add another recording to this list has rather poor chances of causing a sensation with it. And he demonstrates about as little {…}
Reviews  |  

Orchestre de Paris on tour

"Klaus Mäkelä conducts a blissful orgy (in Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique) … The Orchestre de Paris plays venomous and lucid as absinthe. Even the March to the Scaffold is thrilling: ping-ponging timpani, staggered rhythms, ambivalent keys, a court-narrative clarinet, shrill laughing piccolo and then the Dies Irae theme in macabre bass tubas and bassoons. The Parisians are in {…}
Reviews  |  

Orchestre de Paris

"Mäkelä offers us a phenomenal demonstration of absolute rigour and infinite poetic freedom. He approaches the work (Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique) as he would a new work, not bothering with any tradition or convention, and thus makes us literally rediscover a revolutionary score … He constructs a narrative that will keep us on the edge of our seats until the end of the final {…}

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Mar 30
This week is the last of legendary Tom Vissgren as our principal timpanist! Thanks for all the wonderful moments de…
Mar 28
Back in Oslo for Missa Solemnis! One of the greatest (and wildest) works ever written.
Mar 20
Last stop of the tour in Hamburg, at the Elbphilharmonie — Mahler 2! #orchestredeparisontour 📸 Daniel Dittus