Klaus Mäkelä

Conductor & Cellist

Artist in Association: Tapiola Sinfonietta


Still in his early twenties, conductor and cellist Klaus Mäkelä has already made a significant impact on the Finnish musical landscape. The 2017/18 season will see him make important debuts across Europe, Scandinavia, the United States, Canada and Japan. From the 2018/19 season, Mäkelä will be Artist in Association with Tapiola Sinfonietta.


This season Mäkelä debuts with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Lahti, Norrköping, Iceland and Kristiansand symphony orchestras, Kammerakademie Potsdam (where he will also lead from the cello), and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. He will also return to Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki, Turku and Tampere Philharmonic orchestras and Tapiola Sinfonietta.


Also working in opera, Mäkelä will make his debut in December 2017 with performances of The Magic Flute with the Finnish National Opera. His relationship with the FNO began in 2016/17 conducting a concertante performance of Erkki Melartin’s Aino and assisted for Carmen. Mäkelä has also been announced as Esa-Pekka Salonen’s assistant for the Finnish National Opera’s Ring Cycle beginning in 2019.


Mäkelä has already conducted many Finnish orchestras and now appears regularly with Helsinki Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tampere and Turku Philharmonics, Tapiola Sinfonietta and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra. 


At the Sibelius Academy, he studied conducting with Jorma Panula and cello with Marko Ylönen, Timo Hanhinen and Hannu Kiiski. As soloist, he has performed with Finnish orchestras such as the Lahti Symphony, Kuopio Symphony and Jyväskylä Sinfonia as well as appearing at many Finnish festivals including the Kuhmo Chamber Music, Naantali Music Festival, and Chamber Music Summer Festival in Helsinki.


Klaus Mäkelä has received support from the Finnish Cultural Foundation, Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben, Pro Musica Foundation, Wegelius Foundation, Jorma Panula Foundation and Sibelius Academy Foundation.


Klaus Mäkelä plays a Giovanni Grancino cello from 1698, kindly made available to him by the OP Art Foundation.


2017/18 season only. Please contact HarrisonParrott if you wish to edit this biography.