Klaus Mäkelä

Conductor & Cellist

Principal Guest Conductor: Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra

Artist in Association: Tapiola Sinfonietta

Artistic Director: Turku Music Festival


Still in his early twenties, conductor and cellist Klaus Mäkelä is Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Artist in Association with Tapiola Sinfonietta. From 2019 Mäkelä is also Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival.


Following a season of stunning international debuts last season, in season 2018/19 Klaus Mäkelä returns to the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, MDR Leipzig and Iceland symphony orchestras and Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse. Mäkelä also begins his tenures with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and Tapiola Sinfonietta where he is embarking on a Beethoven Cycle over the next 3 seasons. He will also make debuts with the Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National de Lyon, Frankfurt Radio, Antwerp, Bern, and Malmö symphony orchestras and the Bergen Philharmonic.


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


Last season, Mäkelä debuted with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Finnish Radio, Lahti, Norrköping, Iceland and Kristiansand symphony orchestras, Kammerakademie Potsdam (where he also led from the cello), and Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne. He also returned to Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Helsinki and Turku philharmonic orchestras.


Also working in opera, Mäkelä made his operatic debut in with the Finnish National Opera conducting The Magic Flute. His relationship with the FNO began in 2016/17 conducting a concertante performance of Erkki Melartin’s Aino.


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 and Naantali Music Festival.


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


2018/19 season only. Please contact HarrisonParrott if you wish to edit this biography.