Two-job kid pitches for Jansons role

Two-job kid pitches for Jansons role


norman lebrecht

September 01, 2020

The young Finn Klaus Mäkelä, already music director in Oslo and Paris, has thrown his hat in for the Munich vacancy.

Mäkelä, 24, will replace Yannick Nézet-Séguin at the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in three concerts at the end of next month.

He is the only significant substitution in the orchestra’s new season, announced today. Munich is auditioning for the vacant music director’s post, last held by the late Mariss Jansons.



  • Karl says:

    Good to have a go for it. He can’t loose.

  • JohnB says:

    Sorry, but this is bullshit. The BRSO will never ever choose a 24-year-old as successor to Mariss Jansons.

    I’ve seen him conduct in Cleveland last year, he’s fantastic, definitely, but he still isn’t experienced enough to succeed in the apparatus of a radio orchestra.

    They will choose either Rattle, Welser-Möst or Harding.

    • FrauGeigerin says:

      100% BS. At 24 he should not be Music Director in two different major orchestras.

      We are doing it all wrong. All of it. The whole business of music, appointments, managers, agencies, advertising…

      • Marcella Pino says:

        You might be right, but you always sound so bitter…I almost feel sorry for you actually…Are you sure reading this blog and reacting to it is doing you any good?

      • Malcolm says:

        What would the world of music be without your wisdom….?

    • sam says:

      Rattle: being there, done that.
      Welser-Möst: not interested.
      Harding: absolutely, whenever my flights service Munich, and I have a few hours of layover, usually between 7 am and noon

      • Don ciccio says:

        The choices really are: Kitty Whately, Paul Ince, Larry Manetti, and Evelyn Waugh.

        Waugh is dead. It happens.

        Whately is a singer. She sings.

        So now it’s between Manetti and Ince, and it has to be Ince. I am so sure about this that I am even willing to accept Tom Ince as well. But really, Paul Ince is the obvious choice.

    • Olassus says:

      … or Thielemann.

      • Tamino says:

        He has time, true.
        Rattle and Thielemann would have about the same commute. Too bad they wouldn’t ride share in Thielemann’s Porsche together. That’s a picture I would like to see.

        • Olassus says:

          It’s funny, Tamino. Two months ago the job was Rattle’s. Now it appears the Thielemann faction — so strong in the State if not the City — may after all have the upper hand. What I don’t understand is why CT would want it. A mere “radio orchestra” after the great Dresden Staatskapelle? The answer could only be geography: he wants to be near the mountains and all that.

          • Tamino says:

            Why not both? He can stay in Dresden, and also head Munich Radio. And occasionally guest conduct Vienna. Today‘s chief conductor contracts hardly require much presence. 10-12 weeks. Sometimes even less. The year has 52 weeks… It‘s not like 100 years ago. They are „chiefs“ only on paper, and as a PR trick, these days.

  • Rob says:

    A good way to learn the repertoire.

  • Emil says:

    YNS’ withdrawal is only due to travel restrictions: he’s announced that he’s restricting all his activities to North America for the fall. In fact, he’s taken on all five concerts given (twice each) by the Orchestre Métropolitain this fall.

  • MacroV says:

    It’s interesting enough to hear he’s conducting the BRSO without making bogus hints of his being a candidate for the MD job. He’s got two big jobs he just started; he’s not going to be angling for a third.

    • Emil says:

      It would be odd, indeed, if Munich declined to invite the incoming director of the Orchestre de Paris. When Dudamel got LA and when Gilbert got NY, we immediately started seeing them in Berlin and elsewhere. It should be expected that the MD of a leading orchestra will guest conduct at other major orchestras.

  • Liz Sam says:

    Any speculation that Klaus Mäkelä has “thrown his hat in for the Munich vacancy” is completely invalid. As one commentator has already rightfully pointed out, “YNS’ withdrawal is only due to travel restrictions”. Klaus Mäkelä looks forward to returning to Munich to replace Yannick Nezet-Seguin as a guest conductor with the orchestra this autumn. Liz Sam, HarrisonParrott

  • Petros Linardos says:

    The wonderful BRSO has always decided for seasoned chief conductors: Jochum and Kubelik were in their late 40s when appointed; Davis in his 50s; Maazel and Jansons in their 60s. What reason is there to believe that the orchestra would take a leap of faith in a very young conductor this time?

    • Don Ciccio says:

      Don’t forget Kondrashin, also in the 60s, who was about to take over from Kubelik but died unexpectedly.

      But imagine that Munich could have had Kondrashin and Celibidache at the same time! At least they had Kubelik and Kempe at the same time.

  • Bruce says:

    Well, if they like him enough they may offer him the job;* or they might just say “He’s a talented kid; let’s look at him again when he’s an adult.”

    *(seems unlikely if, as Petros Linardos says, they have always gone for more seasoned conductors. Concertgebouw and Birmingham have a history of going for young ‘uns, though, and they have overall done pretty well.)

  • fact checker says:

    I already wonder why such a young guy accepted two posts at two good orchestra’s. At his age and with his talent I would take one music directorship and one principle guest conductorship. For the rest of the time I would try some other orchestras to learn and above all: study, study and try to compose new music myself. And when it comes to Munich: there should be something to dream of in the future 🙂

  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    Once again I will put forward the name of Bertrand de Billy: a wondeful musician.

  • Iain Scott says:

    Or possibly he’s been booked to conduct concert and with its unerring accuracy Slipped Disc turns it into something else.