MUSICAL STORYTELLING: PETRUSHKA
In the hands of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra’s first guest conductor Klaus Mäkelä, Stravinsky’s vibrant ballet Petrushka turns into a magnificent musical spectacle. And equally enchanting is the newly written violin concerto by Daníel Bjarnason from Iceland, brilliant and unpredictable, and masterly performed by the amazing Pekka Kuusisto.
The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra is known worldwide as one of Europe’s most versatile orchestras with an exciting and varied repertoire and a constant striving to break new ground. The orchestra’s high-quality music making as well as its collaborations with internationally renowned composers, conductors and soloists have been rewarded with numerous prizes and accolades.
Permanent home of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 1979 is Berwaldhallen, the Swedish Radio’s concert hall. In addition to the seated audience, the orchestra reaches millions of listeners on the radio and the web through Klassiska konserten i P2. Several concerts are also broadcast and streamed on Berwaldhallen Play and in Swedish Television, offering the audience more opportunities to come as close as possible to one of the world’s top orchestras.
“The orchestra has a unique combination of humility, sensibility and musical imagination”, says Daniel Harding, Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since 2007. “I have never had a concert with the orchestra where they haven’t played as though their lives depended on it!” The orchestra is also proud to have Klaus Mäkelä as its Principal Guest Conductor since 2018.
The first radio orchestra was founded in 1925, the same year that the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra received its current name in 1967. Through the years, the orchestra has had several distinguished Music Directors. Two of them, Herbert Blomstedt and Esa-Pekka Salonen, have since been appointed Conductors Laureate, as well as Valery Gergiev, a regular guest conductor and co-founder of the Baltic Sea Festival.
Klaus Mäkelä is Principal Guest Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra since the 2018–2019 season. He is Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra as well as Artistic Advisor of the Orchestre de Paris. He is also Artist in Association of the Tapiola Sinfonietta and Artistic Director of the Turku Music Festival.
In addition to his first season with the Oslo Philharmonic, the 2020–2021 season sees Mäkelä debut with for example the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. He also returns to the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Gothenburg Symphony and Helsinki Philharmonic, and conducts two programmes with the Orchestre de Paris. He conducts premieres by Unsuk Chin, Sauli Zinovjev and Mette Henriette.
Mäkelä studied conducting at the Sibelius Academy with Jorma Panula, and cello with Marko Ylönen, Timo Hanhinen and Hannu Kiiski. As a soloist, he has performed with several Finnish orchestras, as a chamber musician with the musicians of Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France and at many Finnish festivals. He plays a Giovanni Grancino cello from 1698, kindly made available by the OP Art Foundation. In 2019, he was awarded the Finland Prize for his contributions to Finnish art and culture.