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Focus Klaus Mäkelä

Four orchestras in six concerts: Klaus Mäkelä brings all his orchestras from Oslo, Paris and Amsterdam to the Musikverein. He will also make his debut conducting the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra in the Großer Musikvereinssaal.

© Julia Wesely

No question: Klaus Mäkelä is one of the current shooting stars in the classical music business. And that at just 28 years old. Praise from critics, a frenetically cheering audience, and invitations to the most important concert halls – Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä has already achieved all this in his young career. He has also been Chief Conductor of the renowned Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra since 2020 and Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris since 2021. And from the 2027/28 season, he will be the new chief conductor of the renowned Amsterdam Concertgebouworkest.

Three top orchestras think highly of the Helsinki-born artist, who comes from a family of musicians. Another orchestra that has long had Klaus Mäkelä on its artistic agenda is the Vienna Philharmonic. In the 2024/25 season, the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna is now focusing on the artist, a successful cellist. Mäkelä will perform in the Großer Musikvereinssaal on six evenings with all three of “his” orchestras and the Vienna Philharmonic – with some highly demanding programs and fabulous soloists.

But what is the actual reason for the Klaus Mäkelä phenomenon? When he takes to the podium, he appears serious and is always smartly dressed. Mäkelä is not a man of many words, not one to make grand gestures. He conducts it as if it were that simple. Music is always at the forefront of his work. Dramatic poses and the like are alien to him. Everything the young man does seems very matter-of-fact, yet he always makes an impact. Here is someone with the music in his blood and doesn’t have to prove himself through a show factor. Klaus Mäkelä seems concerned only with the music, not his status as a future star conductor. This is often visually rather unspectacular but artistically all the more valuable and intense.

Mäkelä will kick off his concert series at the Musikverein on October 30 with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and pianist Leif Ove Andsnes. The program includes Beethoven’s Fifth Piano Concerto and Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. The first summit meeting between Mäkelä and the Vienna Philharmonic will occur on December 13 – with Mahler’s Sixth Symphony, a monolith of music history.

In February 2025, French and Russian sounds dominate the Orchestra de Paris guest performance. Mäkelä’s third guest appearance will be with his future orchestra, the Concertgebouworkest. Sofia Gubaidulina’s “Offertorium” is one of the beguiling critical works of the 20th century on the program, which demands a great deal from Julian Rachlin, the soloist. On March 31, the guests from Amsterdam will perform Schönberg’s “Verklärte Nacht” and Mahler’s First Symphony. A – like all the others – is a dramaturgically very well-thought-out program.

Above all, however, Mäkelä will be able to demonstrate the entire range of his repertoire in musical highlights during these six performances.

Peter Jarolin

Concerts 24/25

September 6, 2023

06

Großer Saal

September 6, 2023

05

Großer Saal

September 5, 2023

04

Großer Saal

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    Fine and fragrant

    Arnold Schönberg Center, Vienna

    Colossal sounds

    © Julia Wesely

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    Conducting on the royal road

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    Contemporary music

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    Suction effect

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    Strong relationships

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    With charisma and temperament

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