Klaus Mäkelä

Conductor & Cellist

Born in 1996, conductor and cellist Klaus Mäkelä has already made a significant impact on the Finnish musical landscape.

Still only 21, he has conducted major Finnish orchestras, including Helsinki Philharmonic, Turku Philharmonic, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra and Kuopio Symphony Orchestra, all with reinvitations. In the 15/16 season, he made outstanding debuts with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic, Tapiola Sinfonietta, as well as conducting the Helsinki Philharmonic at the Helsinki Festival.

This season will see Mäkelä make his conducting debut with the Latvian National Symphony Orchestra, as well as returning to the Helsinki, Tampere and Turku Philharmonics, Oulu Symphony, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra, St Michel Strings and Sønderjyllands Symfoniorkester. Other highlights of the season include making his debut with Kymi Sinfonietta as conductor and soloist and recording with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. In the opera world, Mäkelä was recently announced as Esa-Pekka Salonen’s assistant for the Finnish National Opera’s Ring Cycle beginning in 2019. He begins his relationship with the FNO with a concertante performance of Erkki Melartin’s Aino in May 2017, and will conduct other titles in future seasons.

A graduate of 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 Naantali Music Festival, Kauniainen Music Festival, Iitti Music Festival, Joensuu Music Festival, Heinävesi 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 loaned to him by the OP Art Foundation. 



(2016/17 season only. Please contact HarrisonParrott if you wish to edit this biography.)