The much-acclaimed 26-year-old conductor Klaus Mäkelä is to become the next Chief Conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw, starting in 2027. From next season, however, he will join as Artistic Partner.


The Finnish conductor, who will become the Concertgebouw's eighth Chief Conductor, first worked with the world-renowned orchestra in September 2020, and has since been invited back several times. He studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy with Jorma Panula and cello with Marko Ylönen, Timo Hanhinen and Hannu Kiiski. Now he is Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of Orchestre de Paris, and Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival.

This summer, he makes his first appearance at the BBC Proms with the Oslo Philharmonic and returns to the Verbier Festival to conduct the Verbier Festival and Verbier Festival Chamber orchestras as well as perform as a chamber musician.

As Artistic Partner, Klaus Mäkelä will work closely with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, leading them in five programmes over the 2022/23 season.

'I speak on behalf of all my fellow orchestra musicians when I say that we wholeheartedly choose for a long-term collaboration with conductor Klaus Mäkelä,' said Jörgen van Rijen, the Concertgebouw's principal trombonist and chairman of the artistic committee. 'Rarely have we experienced such an overwhelming support from our musicians for a new chief conductor. To us, Klaus is a musician amongst musicians, and a once-in-a-generation conducting talent.'


Photo: Marco Borggreve


Hannah Nepilova is a regular contributor to BBC Music Magazine. She has also written for The Financial Times, The Times, The Strad, Gramophone, Opera Now, Opera, the BBC Proms and the Philharmonia, and runs The Cusp, an online magazine exploring the boundaries between art forms. Born to Czech parents, she has a strong interest in Czech music and culture.