Klaus Mäkelä and the Oslo Philharmonic embark on their first season together this week, following an open air concert on the waterfront site of the planned new concert hall, which was broadcast nationally on NRK TV at the weekend. 
Their official opening concerts take place on 19, 20 and 21 August with an audience of 200 and a programme dedicated to the world premiere of a new commission from Finnish composer Sauli Zinovjev and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 – ” a celebration of playing together and the perfect work to commence a musical collaboration” commented Mäkelä. 

For their second programme of concerts on 26, 27 and 28 August, Klaus Mäkelä and the Oslo Phil launch a season long focus on the music of Sibelius. “This is music which is very much part of the orchestra’s and my DNA and I’m sure that we have something very special to offer to our audiences” says Mäkelä. “We start our journey with the two last symphonies. What makes these two symphonies so special is the fact that their expression is something totally different from what Sibelius used to write before.”

Whilst the opening programmes of the season have been changed and curtailed to accommodate Covid 19 regulations, concerts later in the year still remain as originally planned. “There are a lot of different ways to construct a programme, but for me one of the most inspiring things is to search for thematical couplings or connections between pieces. Different approaches and journies through the programmes. I’ve also been thinking a lot about the fact that what you hear before something has a big effect on how you hear and how the musicians play.”  On 15 October audiences can expect to hear a dance inspired programme taking us from Kodaly’s Dances of Galánta to Sibelius’ first symphony, Rolf Gupta’s Epilogue and Debussy’s Danse sacrée et danse profane, whilst the 26 November programme opens with excerpts of Monteverdi’s Orfeo and Vivaldi’s Concerto for two cellos followed by Sibelius’ Italian inspired second symphony. Let the journey begin.