Paris and Amsterdam agree how to split chief conductor

Paris and Amsterdam agree how to split chief conductor


norman lebrecht

December 01, 2022

The Philharmonie and Orchestre de Paris have agreed to work together with the Royal Concertgebouw of Amsterdam in sharing the services of their Finnish chef conductor Klaus Mäkelä in the coming years.

Appart from coordinating the conductor’s diaries, the orchestras will pay reciprocal visits with other artists. The Dutch will perform in Paris with conductor Paavo Järvi and violinist Lisa Batiashvili on 21 February 2023. The French and Mäkelä will appear in Amsterdam with Dutch violinist Janine Jansen on 7 March 2023. They will travel to each other by train.

It looks good on paper. Let’s see how it develops.

Other aspects include:
Co-commissions and new works
The orchestras will co-commission a series of new works including pieces by Betsy Jolas, Unsuk Chin and Anders Hillborg as well as pieces by younger and less well-known composers.
Both orchestras are committed to diversity, equality and inclusion when choosing artistic partners.

Joint artistic projects
Furthermore, the orchestras intend to share ambitious artistic projects – including concerts with mise-en-scène or concert versions of operas – and these may share casts and soloists.

Education and artist development
The orchestras will also work together through their respective academies as well as the Concertgebouworkest Young orchestra initiative. The joint goal is to develop exceptional young musical talent and to foster cultural leadership.

Pictured: Klaus Mäkelä, conductor- Dominik Winterling, managing director/Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra – Anne-Sophie Brandalise, director/Orchestre de Paris – Olivier Mantei, managing director/Philharmonie de Paris – Christian Thompson, head of artistic planning/Orchestre de Paris (c) Orchestre de Paris/Philharmonie de Paris


  • lamed says:

    “committed to diversity, equality and inclusion”

    Well, the only non-white name in this announcement is Unsuk Chin, and guess what, Asians are no way no how “diversity” in classical music (heck, in certain areas, they are the majority, as solo pianists, as orchestral strings, as conservatory students, as consumers…)

    Nice try.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Just as long as they don’t record ALL the same material twice again, as did with Mariss Jansons between Amsterdam and Munich – little of it to truly top draw quality (none of it poor). Even as a Mahler fanatic, I found that reality to be ridiculous.

  • sammy says:

    I don’t know, there was much hype and pomp with Nelsons and Boston and Gewandhaus, along these same lines, blah blah blah, and it’s pretty much been a flop.

    Nézet-Séguin seems to have a little better luck synergizing Philadelphia and the Met, but still, it’s been a one way street, with the Philadelphia previewing and workshopping operas before they open at the Met…

    • MWnyc says:

      Sometimes to better effect.

      The Hours seems to have been better, and better received, in concert in Philadelphia than on stage at the Met.

      (From what I’ve heard and read, I’d be inclined to blame that on the staging rather than the work itself.)

    • MWnyc says:

      And it provides Philadelphia with a level of opera performance which, these days, Opera Philadelphia simply can’t afford to match.

  • Arameo says:

    Just like Airfrance and KLM

  • Concertgebouw79 says:

    The RCO has always had an excellent relation with Paris. It s maybe outside of the NL the city where they did the biggest number of concerts. Certainly. It s a clever thing for the Orchestre de Paris to do that and maybe it would help them to keep him after 2027… Because Klaus with have to make a choice and he Will not have 3 orchestras. We don t have to forget Oslo…

  • MacroV says:

    So one of the two orchestras he now leads is making a cooperation agreement with a third orchestra that he won’t officially take over for five more years?

  • IP says:

    L’Aile ou la Cuisse?

  • Amos says:

    It is a sad state of affairs when 2 major orchestras have to accommodate the wishes of a mediocre conductor who needs more seasoning to regularly lead one of them. Clearly sometimes less is simply less.