Young Finnish conductor appointed to prestigious Paris Orchestra

The 24-year old Sibelius Academy graduate won't take up his job until 2022 but in the meantime he's had another job contract in Oslo extended until the end of 2027!

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File picture of conductor Klaus Mäkelä / Credit: @francemusique Twitter

A young Finnish conductor has been named as the new musical director of the Paris Orchestra, the latest accolade in an already glittering symphonic career.

Twenty four-year old Klaus Mäkelä had his appointment announced by the French Minister of Culture Franck Riester this week calling it “an opportunity, a symbol, a promise for the Paris Orchestra and its influence in Europe and the world.”

Mäkelä, who studied at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, won’t officially start his five-year term until September 2022 but before then he is joining the orchestra in early July as they perform Beethoven and Ravel during their first public concert since the start of the coronavirus crisis.

The young Finn takes on a role that has been filled by giants of the classical music world like Goerg Solti and Herbert von Karajan.

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” says Mäkelä.

“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” he adds.

File picture of Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä / Credit: Oslo Philharmonic

Mäkelä is in demand as a conductor – in May the Oslo Philharmonic announced it was extending his contract as Chief Conductor through to the end of the 2027 season even though he doesn’t actually start the job until August this year.

The Helsinki native is also currently Principal Guest Conductor with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival; and Artist-in-Association with the Tapiola Sinfonietta.

He says that having two similar roles in Paris and Oslo will allow him to “channel as much of my time and energy into these two important musical homes.”