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Classical News

Conductor Klaus Mäkelä Signs To Decca Classics

Klaus Mäkelä is the first conductor to sign to Decca Classics in 40 years, his recording debut will be the complete Sibelius Symphonies.

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Conductor Klaus Makela photo
Conductor Klaus Mäkelä. Photo: Decca Classics/Marco Boggreve

Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä has signed to Decca Classics. He is the first conductor to sign to the historic label since Riccardo Chailly made his debut, over 40 years ago, in 1978.

Recording debut will be the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle

Klaus Mäkelä’s recording debut will be the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle with the Oslo Philharmonic, including the symphonic poem Tapiola and the fragments of Sibelius’ ‘lost’ Eighth Symphony, long thought to have been destroyed by the composer.

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Klaus Mäkelä commenced his first season as Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra in August 2020 and chose Sibelius’s music, which has long been associated with the orchestra, as the main theme of his first season. Exactly 100 years ago today, on 31 March 1921, Sibelius conducted the orchestra in a programme that included a historic performance of his First Symphony. Watch Klaus Mäkelä conducting the Oslo Philharmonic’s performance of Sibelius’ Symphony No. 1, from the Oslo Concert Hall, filmed in October 2020.

“Decca is the record label I have admired above all others”

Klaus Mäkelä said, “I am really happy and honoured to join Decca Classics. Decca is the record label I have admired above all others, not only for its great roster of artists and catalogue of legendary performances, but also for its unique sound and attention to quality. In the coming seasons, I look forward to recording with both the Oslo Philharmonic and Orchestre de Paris and to choosing repertoire that suits the musical identity and sound of each orchestra and their halls.”

Dominic Fyfe, Decca Classics’ Label Director, added, “Klaus is a born conductor. His charisma and natural authority are winning the respect of the world’s greatest orchestras, from Cleveland to the Concertgebouw, in addition to his twin appointments in Oslo and Paris. Klaus is also a born recording artist and in his hands the classic ‘Decca Sound’ has found a future champion. Decca has always signed conductors with remarkable longevity – from Solti to Chailly – and with Klaus we look forward to a long, fruitful and fascinating journey ahead.”

“He already has all the makings of a great conductor”

Klaus Mäkelä commences as Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris in September 2022 and is currently Artistic Advisor of the orchestra. Le Figaro observed, “He already has all the makings of a great conductor and handles his musical choices with a rare maturity.”

Klaus Mäkelä is also Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Artist in Association with Tapiola Sinfonietta, and Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival. Recent highlights as a guest conductor include performances with the Cleveland Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. “His approach …inspired the Cleveland Orchestra musicians to lay down their instruments at the end and join the audience in riotous applause. That doesn’t happen every day,” noted ClevelandClassical.com

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