Concertgebouworkest – Klaus Mäkelä will be the new chief conductor of the Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam, the company announced at a press conference on Friday morning. The 26-year-old Finn is the successor of Daniele Gatti, who had to leave in 2018 after allegations of transgressive behavior.
Mäkelä is already chief conductor of the Oslo Filharmoniske Orkester and the Orchestre de Paris. Because of these current contracts, he will only start as chief conductor of the Concertgebouworkest in 2027.
With the Amsterdam orchestra he gets a contract of ten years. In this season (2022/2023) he starts as an artistic partner. In this role, he will already work closely with the Concertgebouworkest in five different programmes.
The orchestra had been looking for a new chief conductor since 2018. In recent times, the sought-after Mäkelä has been put forward by experts as the main candidate.
The young conductor hopes to give concerts of “the best class” with the Amsterdam orchestra. “That’s my top priority. I also look forward to meeting the audience and building a relationship of trust with them.”
The 26-year-old Mäkelä is not the youngest chief conductor so far. Willem Mengelberg, who led the orchestra from 1895 to 1945, was 24 years old when he started it.
The Concertgebouworkest put the previous chief conductor Gatti aside after stories of undesirable behavior, after which he hired lawyers.
The orchestra then reported that “the dissatisfaction between the two parties had been resolved after extensive consultations”, but Gatti did not return as chief.