Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra appoints sought-after conductor
The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra has a long tradition of working with the finest conductors. The orchestra’s principal conductor Daniel Harding has held the post for over ten years and is currently one of the most sought-after conductors in the world. Now, once again, the Swedish Radio has appointed one of the hottest rising stars among conductors, the young Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä.
The twenty-one-year-old KLAUS MÄKELÄ is the latest star in the Finnish conducting sky, following an impressive tradition of Finnish conductors. He has already conducted several of Finland’s leading orchestras and, in this season alone, will conduct Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Radiophilharmonie, Canada’s National Arts Center Orchestra, the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, and Minnesota Orchestra.
With great feeling and an immediate contact with the musicians he made a deep impression on the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra when he made his debut in the Swedish Radio Concert Hall in September this year. Shortly afterwards the decision was made to ask him to be the orchestra’s principal guest conductor.
– Forging a link between such an obvious name of the future and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is a huge feather in our cap. Klaus Mäkelä is already on everyone’s lips in the international music scene. At twenty-one years of age he will be the youngest conductor ever to receive a long-term contract with the orchestra. The response from the musicians was unmistakable when Klaus visited us in September: we want to work more with him! says Helena Wessman, general manager of the Swedish Radio Concert Hall, Berwaldhallen.
– From the first rehearsal we really connected in so many ways. The connection and relationship between a conductor and an orchestra is different every time of course, but this time the connection was immediate. It really was. There are so many great things about the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, it’s such a great orchestra with a wonderful atmosphere. I am really looking forward to conducting them regularly. Together we are exploring some very different, and really exciting, repertoire. Really exciting! says Klaus Mäkelä.
Klaus Mäkelä has studied conducting with Jorma Panula, who is considered to be the father of the “Finnish conductor marvel”. Mäkelä has been appointed assistant to Esa-Pekka Salonen, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s former chief conductor, for the Finnish National Opera’s Ring Cycle in 2019. His first appearance as principal guest conductor will be in September 2018. Klaus Mäkelä’s contract with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is for three years.
A full biography and press photos of Klaus Mäkelä are available at berwaldhallen.se
For more information, contact
Press- & PR-ansvarig / Press & PR Manager
Berwaldhallen | Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester | Radiokören
08-784 18 30 | 070-431 18 93
Interview with Klaus Mäkelä
– What are your expectations for this new appointment?
I love the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, and I am really looking forward to conducting them regularly. Together we are exploring some very different, and really exciting, repertoire. Really exciting! I am looking forward also to building our relationship.
– You have recently conducted the SRSO – what was your experience?
I conducted the SRSO in September. From the first rehearsal we connected in so many ways. The connection and relationship between a conductor and an orchestra is different every time of course, but this time the connection was immediate. It really was. There are so many great things about the SRSO, it’s such a great orchestra with a wonderful atmosphere.
– Which are the two most important factors that have inspired and created such a fantastic line-up of great Finnish conductors?
First to say, I think that Finns have a need to be individual – it is a real Finnish quality! Another important factor is that we have such a great orchestral network. As a young conductor you can work with amazing orchestras very early on in your career. And a third, very important, thing is that almost every Finn has the same conducting teacher – Jorma Panula. He revolutionised the method for teaching conducting and developed a technique that is now used worldwide.
– Which are the two most important factors that have inspired you to becoming a conductor?
When I was about 7 I was singing in the Finnish National Opera’s children’s choir. My first opera was Carmen, conducted by Hannu Lintu. I remember that feeling of being faced with this incredible artform of the opera. It was from that moment I started wanting to be a conductor. I was already playing the cello at this time, and then from 12 years old I started studying conducting. The second most inspiring factor is the music itself – the repertoire for a conductor is so wide – you can do so many things, it’s so fascinating.
– What is your relation to Stockholm and Sweden?
When I visited Stockholm in September to conduct the SRSO, it was my first visit after many years to the city. I love Stockholm – it’s such a nice city. It has a great atmosphere, so cultural and feels very European. And I am so thankful to Sweden – my debut at Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra was an important moment in my career.