The Finnish conductor and cellist Klaus Mäkelä, who was born in 1996 into a family of musicians in Helsinki, studied at the Sibelius Academy in his native city. His conducting teacher was Jorma Panula; Marko Ylönen, Timo Hanhinen, and Hannu Kiiski taught him cello. He soon appeared as a soloist with various Finnish orchestras and remains active as a cello soloist today: in June 2024, for example, he performed the Brahms Double Concerto with the violinist Daniel Lozakovich and the Oslo Philharmonic. Mäkelä shifted his artistic focus early on to orchestral conducting. From 2017 to 2021, he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and, in 2020, took over as Principal Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic; since 2021, he has served as Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris. In the fall of 2022, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra announced that Mäkelä would take up the position of Principal Conductor in 2027 and is maintaining a close collaboration as Artistic Partner until then. He will join with the Amsterdam-based orchestra starting in 2026 for concerts at the Easter Festival in Baden-Baden. Mäkelä performs with many top international orchestras, such as the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin and Munich Philharmonics, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. His repertoire ranges from such Baroque masters as Lully and Locatelli through the great Romantic and late-Romantic symphonies to contemporary music. He has championed works by Pascal Dusapin, Thomas Larcher, Magnus Lindberg, and Kaija Saariaho and led the world premieres by Unsuk Chin and Anna Thorvaldsdottir in the 2023-24 season. Mäkelä’s recording of the complete Sibelius symphonies with the Oslo Philharmonic has won several awards; his most recent recording, which appeared in the spring of 2024, is of Stravinsky’s Petrushka as well as of Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and Jeux with the Orchestre de Paris.

Lucerne Festival debut in the summer of 2023 conducting the Oslo Philharmonic, which he led in two concerts.

March 2024