Illinois Public Media

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Klaus Mäkelä with text Clef Notes

Klaus Mäkelä: Is He the Right Person to Lead the CSO?

One of the biggest stories in classical music this month was the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s announcement that 28-year-old Finnish conductor Klaus Mäkelä would be the storied ensemble’s next music director. Mäkelä will take the reins in 2027 from the 82-year-old Italian conductor Riccardo Muti, who led the ensemble from 2010 to 2023. When Mäkelä’s contract begins, he will be only 31—the youngest conductor in the CSO’s history to hold the position. This 50-year gap in experience between the outgoing and incoming music director has led many to ask, is Mäkelä too green for the job, or is his youth an asset? Clef Notes dives in, read more here.

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