Klaus Mäkelä is chief conductor and artistic adviser of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra. With Orchestre de Paris, he assumed the role of artistic adviser in 2020-21 and will become the orchestra’s next music director in September 2022. He is also principal guest conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony and artistic director of the Turku Music Festival. An exclusive Decca Classics artist, Mäkelä has recorded the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle with the Oslo Philharmonic as his first project for the label, to be released in 2022.
Mäkelä launched the Oslo Philharmonic's 2021-22 season in August with a special concert featuring Saariaho’s Asteroid 4179: Toutatis, Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra, two new works by Norwegian composer Mette Henriette and Sibelius' Lemminkäinen. A similarly wide range of repertoire is presented throughout his second season in Oslo, including major choral works by Bach, Mozart, William Walton, Mahler's Symphony No. 3 and Shostakovich's Symphonies Nos. 10 and 14 with soloists Mika Kares and Asmik Grigorian. Recent and new works include compositions by Sally Beamish, Unsuk Chin, Jimmy Lopez, Andrew Norman and Kaija Saariaho. In spring 2022, Mäkelä and the Oslo Philharmonic perform the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle at the Wiener Konzerthaus and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie and tour to France and Britain.
With Orchestre de Paris, Mäkelä performed at the summer festivals of Granada and Aix-en-Provence. For his first concert in the 2021-22 season, he conducts a new work by Unsuk Chin titled Spira, Richard Strauss' Last Four Songs, Op. 27, with soloist Lise Davidsen and Mahler Symphony No. 1. His first season as music director also features the music of Ligeti and Dutilleux alongside works by Biber, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Rachmaninov and Stravinsky.
In the 2021-22 season, Mäkelä appears as a portrait artist at the Wiener Konzerthaus conducting the Wiener Symphoniker and Oslo Philharmonic and playing cello in chamber music. He also guest conducts the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, London Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Munich Philharmonic.
In the 2020-21 season, Makela appeared with the Royal Concertgebouw, Munich Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra and Tapiola Sinfonietta. As Artist-in-Residence at Spain’s Granada Festival, he conducted the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada and Orchestre de Paris. At the Verbier Festival, he conducted and performed cello in a chamber music program.
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, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. He plays a Giovanni Grancino cello from 1698, kindly made available to him by the OP Art Foundation.