Klaus Mäkelä, next Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris

Klaus Mäkelä, next Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris

The Philharmonie de Paris has great pleasure in announcing Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä as the next Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris.

In April 2018, the Ministry of Culture and the City of Paris asked Laurent Bayle, Director General of the Philharmonie de Paris, to prepare for the merger of the Orchestre de Paris into the Philharmonie and search for a successor to Daniel Harding, whose contract was due to expire on 31 August 2019.

This merger became effective as of 1 January 2019 and an in-depth search for a new Music Director was simultaneously launched, involving both the management and musicians of the Orchestre de Paris. It resulted in the unanimous choice of Klaus Mäkelä, a conductor with an already established reputation and radiant personality, who showed a genuine desire to work on a long-term basis with the musicians of the Orchestre de Paris and the cultural project initiated by the Philharmonie.

With the agreement of the Minister of Culture, Franck Riester, and the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, it was decided that Klaus Mäkelä will initially assume the position of Music Advisor to the Orchestre de Paris from 1 September 2020 to 31 August 2022 and be appointed Music Director from 1 September 2022 for a period of five years.
As a part of his commitment as Music Director, Klaus Mäkela will conduct approximately 12 weeks of concerts with the Orchestre de Paris each year, both at home in the Philharmonie and on tour, Klaus Mäkelä will return to France already on Thursday, 9 July 2020 to perform with the Orchestre de Paris in a programme combining Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. This will be the first concert presented by the Philharmonie de Paris since the outbreak of the Coronavirus epidemic. The conditions for welcoming the public will be specified very soon.

A few words from Klaus Mäkelä

I have long admired the Orchestre de Paris as a great orchestra and the experience of first performing with its wonderful musicians was both intense and fulfilling. That sense of immediate trust and connection meant that I did not hesitate in accepting the invitation to be the orchestra’s next Music Director and I look forward to returning to Paris already in July for our next concert together at the Philharmonie - an iconic hall which allows us to work even more intensively together as musicians. Given existing commitments my first official season will start in 2022/23 and I am grateful to the orchestra for inviting me to be Artistic Advisor in the meantime. I feel immensely lucky to have found such a strong connection with the musicians of both the Orchestre de Paris and the Oslo Philharmonic, with whom I commence my first season as Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor this August. What makes these two partnerships particularly exciting is that they are both world class national orchestras with very different and individual qualities, performing music at the heart of two of Europe’s most vibrant cultural capitals. Having these clear, long term commitments will enable me to channel as much of my time and energy into these two important musical homes.

Klaus Mäkelä – Biography

The Finnish conductor and cellist was born in Helsinki in 1996 into a family of musicians.
He started studying music at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki at the age of 12 with Professors Jorma Panula (conducting) and Marko Ylönen (cello) but his interest in conducting was already sparked five years earlier, when he sang in the choir of the Finnish National Opera. From an early age he also performed solo cello, notably with several Finnish orchestras.

Klaus Mäkelä made his first appearance with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2017, becoming Principal Guest Conductor at the start of the following season. Since 2018, he has also been Artist in Association of the Tapiola Sinfonietta and since 2019 Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival.
The 2018/19 season was the year of international recognition for Klaus Mäkelä, featuring notable debuts with the Bamberger Symphoniker, Orchestre national de Lyon, Frankfurt Radio Symphony and Orchestre de Paris in June 2019. He also conducted the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic on tour in China.

Most recently, Klaus Mäkelä has made his first appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. In the upcoming season he performs with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Gewandhausorchester, Concertgebouworkest and Boston Symphony Orchestra.

In 2018, he was appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, where he commences his tenure in the 2020-2021 season for a period of 7 years.br/> Klaus Mäkelä assumes the position of Music Advisor to the Orchestre de Paris on 1 September 2020 and will become its 8th Music Director on 1 September 2022.