The Oslo Philharmonic recently launched its 101st season with new Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor, Klaus Mäkelä, with a performance of Mahler’s First Symphony. The film of this live performance will be released on Friday 16th October at 21.00 CET on the Oslo Philharmonic’s website, facebook and youtube channel simultaneously, allowing audiences worldwide to tune in and follow the start of what will be an important new chapter in the orchestra’s history.

­­­­­Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 was chosen by Klaus Mäkelä for the opening programme as “a celebration of playing together and the perfect work to commence a musical collaboration”.  Reviewing the concert Norway’s leading newspaper, Aftenposten, wrote “Under his direction, the orchestra seems top-trimmed and newly polished, not to mention newly charged, after shutdown and vacation. It is impressive, and it was a joy to open the season with a symphony that holds so much”.

Klaus Mäkelä made his debut with the Oslo Philharmonic in May 2018 and was announced as the orchestra’s next Chief Conductor in October of the same year.  The initial three-year contract was extended to seven earlier this year ahead of his first season, giving what Mäkelä described as “the opportunity to really grow together and experiment on a great variety of different styles of music with an orchestra that I love”.
This week Klaus Mäkelä is back in Norway to conduct the Oslo Philharmonic in a programme ranging from Sibelius Symphony No. 1 and Kodaly Dances of Galánta to Debussy Danse Sacrée & danse profane and Rolf Gupta Earth’s Song: Epilogue.
“One of our first big projects together will be performing all seven symphonies by Sibelius − music which is part of the orchestra’s and my DNA” said Mäkelä. “Throughout the season I have made a point of programming Sibelius’ music alongside particular works by Monteverdi, Vivaldi, Debussy, Ravel and Penderecki amongst others. These couplings are designed to take us on a journey that I believe might well change our approach to each symphony.”
Klaus Mäkelä’s name has become familiar to many only recently, following prominent attention given to the latest announcements and debuts, leading several people to ask how he has gained such quick recognition. But for the musicians with whom he has performed in orchestras across Scandinavia, Europe and further afield, he has been an insider’s tip for several years already, appreciated for his “brilliance on stage and his humility offstage”. Mäkelä’s debuts with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Cleveland Orchestra and Concertgebouworkest have resulted in immediate re-invitations and the success of his debut with the Orchestre de Paris in June 2019 led to this year’s announcement that he will join the musicians as their next Music Director, commencing Autumn 2022.