Klaus Mäkelä is the new artistic director of the Turku Music Festival

The Board of Directors of the Turku Music Festival Foundation has unanimously chosen conductor Klaus Mäkelä to be the new artistic director of the Turku Music Festival. He will be invited to plan the programme for the festival’s 60th anniversary in 2019. The current artistic director of the festival, Ville Matvejeff, is leaving after this summer to take up the post of artistic director of the Savonlinna Opera Festival.

“I am happy to have this opportunity to be the artistic director of the Turku Music Festival. When I was asked whether I would be interested, it immediately seemed like a good fit at this point in my career. It is my first artistic director’s post, and I have a strong personal connection to Turku. The Turku Music Festival has a robust tradition, and next year’s 60th anniversary will be a very special occasion,” says Klaus Mäkelä. “As a conductor, I work in various places in Finland and abroad. Artistic planning is about germinating ideas and meeting performers. I can do that anywhere, and the ways in which things are done are different in every place. I will be in Turku during the festival in August and will visit a few times a year as needed, but I will be supported by the managing director and the festival office, and I believe our collaboration will be fruitful.”

”I have been following Klaus’ career for some time now and I am very impressed by what he has already achieved. He is one of the most talented and most interesting young artists I know and he’s known to be efficient and productive. When the thought of working together came to my mind, it all fell into place very naturally. The timing was simply perfect for both parties. It feels great and inspiring to have the chance to build the Turku Music Festival into an even more interesting festival with an even higher level. I could not be happer and Klaus has the chance to bring out his artistic ideas through the more than 30 annual concerts we have in the framework of the festival. We’ll immediately have the chance to start working on the solid foundation we’ve built with the former artistic directors”, says the festival’s Managing Director Liisa Ketomäki.

“Klaus Mäkelä is one of Finland’s most interesting young conductors today. He is also an excellent cellist, as we know from the Turku Cello Competition in 2014. This will be his first opportunity to show what he can do as the artistic director of an international festival where concerts range from solo recitals to concert performances of operas”, says Maija Palonheimo, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Turku Music Festival Foundation.

Turku Music Festival artistic director designate, conductor and cellist Klaus Mäkelä (b. 1996) has made a substantial impact on the Finnish music scene in a short period of time.  The 2017/18 season will see him make significant debuts across Europe, Scandinavia, the United States, Canada and Japan. From the 2018/19 season, Mäkelä will be Principal Guest Conductor with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Artist in Association with Tapiola Sinfonietta.

This season Mäkelä debuts with the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa), Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, NDR Radiophilharmonie, Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Kammerakademie Potsdam, Kristiansand Symfoniorkester, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne and Iceland Symphony Orchestra. He will also return to Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta, Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic Orchestra and Oulu Symphony Orchestra.

Also working in opera, Mäkelä will make his debut in December 2017 with performances of The Magic Flute with the Finnish National Opera. Mäkelä has already conducted many Finnish orchestras and now appears regularly with Helsinki Philharmonic, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tampere and Turku Philharmonics, Tapiola Sinfonietta and the Ostrobothnian Chamber Orchestra.

At the Sibelius Academy, he studied conducting with Jorma Panula and cello with Marko Ylönen, Timo Hanhinen and Hannu Kiiski. As soloist, he has performed with Finnish orchestras such as the Lahti Symphony, Kuopio Symphony and Jyväskylä Sinfonia as well as appearing at many Finnish festivals including the Kuhmo Chamber Music Naantali Music Festival, and Chamber Music Summer Festival in Helsinki.

Klaus Mäkelä plays a Giovanni Grancino cello from 1698, kindly made available to him by the OP Art Foundation.

Further information and requests for interviews: Managing Director Liisa Ketomäki, tel. +358 40 740 6200, e-mail


One of world’s leading sopranos Kristīne Opolais performs at the Turku Music Festival 2018!

Turku Music Festival presents once again a leading soprano acknowledged all over the world. The Latvian soprano Kristīne Opolais performs at the Opening Concert Friday 10th of August at 7 PM with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and conductor Hannu Lintu. The evening consists of arias dear to Opolais and great classics combined with Finnish contemporary music.

“I am very excited to return to Finland next summer for my debut in the opening concert of the Turku Music Festival, with Hannu Lintu and the Finnish Radio Symphony! It will be a fantastic evening, filled with arias from signature roles that are very close to my heart – Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and Margherita from Boito’s Mefistofele. I’m also looking forward to singing arias from incredible roles I plan to add in future seasons, including Verdi’s Desdemona in Otello and Elisabetta in Don Carlo, Liù in Puccini’s Turandot, and Catalani’s La Wally. All are extraordinary women with complex emotions and beautiful music. I hope you can join us for this very special night of music!”, says Kristine Opolais.

“I’m thrilled the Turku Music Festival is yet again welcoming one of the world’s most luminous stars of the opera scene to Finland.  Kristīne Opolais is most definitely a singer to be familiarised with and RSO is privileged to visit Turku with a firework of orchestral music and greatest arias from opera literature”, states conductor Hannu Lintu

”We are very happy we could make this long-awaited visit work in both Opolais’, the orchestra’s and Hannu Lintu’s schedules. Finnish audiences surely remember Opolais from the leading role in Rusalka at the Met Opera.” ManagingDirector Liisa Ketomäki, Turku Music Festival

Ticket sales begin on Tuesday 12th of December at 9AM from (points of sale in all of Finland). The entire programme for the summer 2018 is published on 21st of February 2018.

Kristīne Opolais is one of today’s greatest sopranos and performs regularly in the world’s leading opera houses. Before her concert in Turku, she sings the role of Madama Butterfly at the Vienna State Opera and debuts in the role of Elsa (Lohengrin) at the Covent Garden. Last season’s highlights include the title role of Rusalka at the Metropolitan Opera. She works regularly with leading conductors such as Andris Nelsons, Daniel Barenboim, Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle and Daniel Harding.

More information and interview requests:

Managing Director Liisa Ketomäki, +358 40 740 6200,


Karita Mattila, Matti Salminen, Klaus Florian Vogt and Waltteri Torikka to star in Parsifal at the Turku Music Festival in August 2017

The 58th Turku Music Festival will be held from 9 to 18 August 2017. The high point of next summer’s festival will be two concert performances of the opera Parsifal by Richard Wagner.

Conductor Ville Matvejeff, artistic director of the Turku Music Festival, describes the project: “The high point of the year will be the lightly edited concert performance given by the Turku Music Festival of the opera Parsifal by Richard Wagner. This three-act opera, slightly condensed for this production, is a drama of the relationships between six characters. Our performances will include a dazzling début, as Finland’s most brilliant operastar Karita Mattila will be making her first appearance in the role of Kundry. The cast will also include some of the brightest stars in the Wagner firmament, such as Klaus Florian Vogt, a frequent soloist at Bayreuth and currently at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, and iconic bass singer Matti Salminen. The production will also feature début performances by Waltteri Torikka, Tapani Plathan and Juha Kotilainen. Richard Wagner was and arguably still is one of the greatest reformers in the history of opera, and the theme of early Christianity that forms the foundation of Parsifal makes it an excellent fit for the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.”

Karita Mattila says: “Ville’s invitation to perform Kundry for the first time in Turku suited my timetable very well, and I had been thinking of doing this role for some time. It i s a great role for a dramatic soprano. And with the cast that Ville had managed to assemble, it was easy to say yes. I have fond memories of performing in Turku and am pleased to return.”

Parsifal will be performed at Turku Concert Hall on Thu 10 Aug at 18.00 and Sat 12 Aug at 14.00. Artistic team:
Parsifal: Klaus Florian Vogt Kundry: Karita Mattila Gurnemanz: Matti Salminen Amfortas: Waltteri Torikka Klingsor: Tapani Plathan Titurel: Juha Kotilainen Chorus Cathedralis Aboensis Turku Philharmonic Orchestra Ville Matvejeff, conductor
The concerts will be produced jointly with the City of Turku and the Turku and Kaarina Parish Union under the Reformation Anniversary Year 2017 project. The full programme of the festival will be published in February 2017.


Tickets to the Parsifal performances will go on sale on 17th of October 2016 at Ticketmaster Finland
(Lippupalvelu) points of sale around the country and at the Ars Musica cultural shop at Turku Concert Hall.

Group bookings: Turku Music Festival office, / 040 740 6200

Further information and interview requests

Executive Director Liisa Ketomäki, tel. +358 40 740 6200, e-mail

The next collaboration between the Turku Music Festival and the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra,
which has already been announced, is the world premiere of the opera Die Kalewainen in Pochjola BY Karl Müller-Berghaus at Logomo on 28 February 2017. This production forms part of the official programme for celebrating the centenary of Finland’s independence. The cast of the opera has changed due to scheduling conflicts: Swedish soprano Susanna Andersson will be replaced in the role of Ismo by one of Finland’s leading sopranos, Kaisa Ranta.
The other soloists are Johanna Rusanen-Kartano (Louchi), Christian Juslin (Achti Lemminkäinen), Petri Lindroos (Väinämöinen), Tommi Hakala (Ilmarinen) and Anna Danik (Luonnotar). The Turku Philharmonic Orchestra will be conducted by Leif Segerstam (performances 28 Feb to 9 Mar) and
Ruut K iiski (performance 11 Mar). The production will be directed by Tiina Puumalainen, with sets by Teppo Järvinen. Further information:

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