Klaus Mäkelä and Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra to start ten-year collaboration

Mäkelä announced as Chief Conductor with effect from 2027
Klaus Mäkelä (Marco Borggreve)
Klaus Mäkelä (Marco Borggreve)
The Concertgebouw Orchestra is delighted to announce the start of a long-term collaboration with Klaus Mäkelä, who joins as Artistic Partner with effect from the 2022-23 season and will become the orchestra’s eighth Chief Conductor in 2027.
As Artistic Partner, Klaus Mäkelä will work closely with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, commencing this August with concerts at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Cologne Philharmonie and Berlin Philharmonie (opening concert of the Musikfest Berlin). During the 2022/2023 season Klaus Mäkelä will lead the Concertgebouw Orchestra in five programmes and, in the years to follow, the collaboration will naturally develop, allowing conductor and musicians to spend more time together, both in Amsterdam and abroad.
Klaus Mäkelä made his first appearance with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in September 2020 and it was clear from the start that it was a perfect match. His outstanding debut prompted the orchestra to invite him back twice within the same season, and twice in the current season including on tour to Hamburg and Reykjavík, each occasion re-confirming the musicians’ united wish to engage Klaus Mäkelä as their next Chief Conductor.
The Concertgebouw Orchestra has an established tradition of long-term collaborations with conductors, including Willem Mengelberg, Bernard Haitink and Riccardo Chailly, from early on in their careers. By appointing Klaus Mäkelä Artistic Partner for five seasons before he takes up the position of Chief Conductor, the orchestra looks forward to embarking on a new journey that promises many years of artistic excellence and new discoveries.
The Managing Board of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra:
Dominik Winterling, Managing Director
Ulrike Niehoff, Artistic Director
David Bazen, Director of Operations
‘We are delighted to announce that Klaus Mäkelä has signed a contract with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra for ten years, allowing for the development of a long-term collaboration with our orchestra. Respecting Klaus’s current positions with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris, both of which we have excellent relationships with, he is appointed Artistic Partner of our orchestra with effect from the 2022/23 season, leading to his tenure as the Concertgebouw Orchestra’s eighth Chief Conductor in 2027. This agreement demonstrates the deep commitment and trust between our musicians and Klaus, and will ensure the continuation of the high quality our audiences all over the world expect from our orchestra. We look forward to the collaboration with Klaus in the coming years which will underline our position as one of the leading symphony orchestras in the world.’   

Jörgen van Rijen, principal trombone, chairman of the artistic committee, Board member: 
‘I am absolutely thrilled that we can make this important announcement. 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. 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. With his deep understanding and command of a broad range of repertoire and his inspiring artistic vision and energy, Klaus brings out the best in us. One of the great traditions of the Concertgebouw Orchestra is that the musicians themselves are deeply involved in the artistic course of the organisation and decide who their new chief conductor will be. I am proud of all my colleagues for setting up together the process for finding our new chief conductor and grateful for the patience shown. We are fully convinced that we have found the perfect match for the Concertgebouw Orchestra and we cannot wait to start our musical journey together.’  
Klaus Mäkelä
‘This is an orchestra of exceptional musicians with a shared curiosity and ambition for music-making at its most touching and communicative. Hearing the Concertgebouw Orchestra sound once leaves one admiring it forever and I am honoured to be responsible to preserve and contribute to its future development. I am so grateful to the orchestra and its administration for welcoming me with open arms and I look forward to all the shared moments on and off stage in the years to come.’ 
Klaus Mäkelä is Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Music Director of Orchestre de Paris, and Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival. As a guest conductor he makes his first appearances with orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and Gewandhausorchester in the 2022/23 season and returns to the USA to conduct The Cleveland Orchestra and Chicago Symphony Orchestra. An exclusive Decca Classics Artist, Klaus Mäkelä has recorded the complete Sibelius symphony cycle with the Oslo Philharmonic as his first project for the label, released in March 2022.

Dominic Seldis, principal double bass player of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, speaks with Klaus Mäkelä here.
A press kit with photos and further information can be found here. Photos: Marco Borggreve.