Many know Jean Sibelius primarily as a great symphonist. However, choral singers can also testify to the quality of his a cappella works. Klaus Mäkelä, in his first concert with the Swedish Radio Choir, interprets some of Sibelius’ most beloved choral music, as well as Pēteris Vasks’ ethereal Plainscapes.


The concert is canceled

The Swedish Radio choir's long-awaited meeting with conductor Klaus Mäkelä has unfortunately been canceled. This is due to current stricter restrictions and accompanying quarantine rules.



For more than 90 years, the Swedish Radio Choir has contributed to the development of the Swedish a cappella tradition. Under the leadership of legendary conductor Eric Ericson, the choir earned great international renown. It is still hailed as one of the best choirs in the world. The choir members’ ability to switch between powerful solo performances and seamlessly integrating themselves in the ensemble creates a unique and dynamic instrument praised by critics and music lovers alike, as well as by the many guest conductors who explore and challenge the choir’s possibilities.

Permanent home of the Swedish Radio Choir since 1979 is Berwaldhallen, the Swedish Radio’s concert hall. In addition to the seated audience, the choir 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, offering the audience more opportunities to come as close as possible to one of the world’s top choirs.

With the 2020–2021 season, Kaspars Putniņš begins his tenure as the tenth Music Director of the Swedish Radio Choir. Since January 2019, Marc Korovitch is the choirmaster of the Swedish Radio Choir with responsibility for the ensemble’s continued artistic development. Two of the orchestra’s former Music Directors, Tõnu Kaljuste and Peter Dijkstra, were appointed Conductors Laureate in November 2019. Both maintain a close relationship with the choir and make regular guest appearances.

The Swedish Radio Choir was founded the same year as the Swedish Radio Service began its broadcasts and the choir had its first concert in May 1925. Right from the start, the choir had high ambitions with a conscious aim to perform contemporary music.

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.

Approximate duration: 40 mins