Music of the Week: May 6, 2022: Antonín Dvorák: Symphony No. 9

Antonín Dvorák - Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’ - Klaus Mäkelä | Made in America

Antonín Dvorák – Symphony No. 9 ‘From the New World’ – Klaus Mäkelä | Made in America

Antonín Dvorák’s 9th Symphony, “From the new world,” needs no introduction as it is one of the most popular symphonic classics worldwide. The Czech composer wrote this piece while in New York, where it premiered in Carnegie Hall in 1893.

Apart from the timeless beauty of the music, we chose this particular rendering to put a spotlight on the conductor, young Finnish wunderkind Klaus Mäkelä, working here with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.

Born in 1996, Klaus Mäkelä is now Chief Conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director of the Orchestre de Paris and one of the youngest conductors heading a professional orchestra of international renown. He was exposed to music from early on, both his parents being professional musicians, and is himself also a solo cellist.

His recent recording of the complete Sibelius Symphony cycle with the Oslo Philharmonic as an exclusive Decca Classics Artist was released in March 2022.

“Help, but do not disturb” was the advice Mäkelä received from his teacher and mentor Jorma Panula, who taught him to give every musician in the orchestra the space and freedom for a stellar performance.

As we watch the masterful Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra—itself being among the top three orchestras in the world—it appears, at times, that the musicians are reading the notes off the young conductor’s face. Mäkelä conducts with an almost visible energy field from the heart, his long arms embracing the whole of the orchestral space with great sensitivity and guidance.


Homepage of Klaus Mäkelä

Antonín Dvorák on Wikipedia and Symphony No. 9 on Wikipedia

Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra