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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2020/21 Dr. Friedemann Pestel

Dr. Friedemann Pestel

University of Freiburg
Internal Junior Fellow
November 2020 - March 2021

Phone +49 (0)761-203 97400


Friedemann Pestel is lecturer in modern European history at Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg where he obtained his PhD in 2013. He graduated in history, French studies, and education sciences from the University of Jena and the École normale supérieure in Paris. Over the last years, he was a visiting scholar at the German Historical Institutes in Paris and London and the Universities of Vienna and Bordeaux. Friedemann Pestel’s research interests include musical mobility, infrastructures of classical musical life, and the relations of music and politics from the 19th into the 21st century. He also works on the French and Haitian Revolutions, political migration, and memory studies. 

Selected Publications

  • Performing for the nation: Perspectives on musical diplomacy,” in Musicking in Twentieth-Century Europe: A Handbook, ed. Klaus Nathaus and Martin Rempe (forthcoming).
  • “‘Special Years‘? The Vienna Philharmonic, Baldur von Schirach, and Nazi Cultural Politics in Vienna,” The Musical Quarterly102, 2/3 (2019): 256–302.
  • “Prekäre DDR-Repräsentation: Die Europa-Tourneen des Leipziger Gewandhausorchesters in den 1950er bis 1980er Jahren,” Revue d’Allemagne et des pays de langue allemande51, no. 1 (2019): 83–97.
  • “‘Ein unserer Eisenbahn-Epoche vorbehaltenes Unicum‘: Die Auslandstourneen der Meininger Hofkapelle und die Internationalisierung des Musiklebens in Europa (1880‒1914),” in Medien – Kommunikation – Öffentlichkeit: Vom Spätmittelalter bis zur Gegenwart, ed. Alexander Krünes et al. (Vienna, Cologne, Weimar, 2019), 305–25.
  • “Global Trajectories and National Representation: German and Austrian Orchestras Touring Latin America in the 1960s,” in Trayectorias. Music between Latin America and Europe 1945–1970/Música entre América Latina y Europa 1945–1970, ed. Daniela Fugellie et al. (Berlin, 2019), 43–57,

FRIAS Research Project

Global Players: Orchestral Tours and International Musical Life in the 20th Century

During the 20th century, symphony orchestras turned into crucial international actors shaping cultural relations across the globe. Looking at tours of German and Austrian orchestras to Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa, this project investigates the political driving forces of musical mobility, embedded in the economic and artistic contexts of international musical life. Over the period from 1880 to 2000, I consider the evolution of touring destinations, cultural diplomacy projects together with political perceptions of the performances, musical markets, and repertoires. Taking a longue durée approach to musical mobility, “Global Players” highlights the powerful continuities and transitions in concert life and artistic careers against political ruptures and diverging political regimes in different world regions. Against widely state-centred accounts of cultural diplomacy, I emphasise the agency of internationally active musicians, the appropriation of musical performances across the globe, and the impact of globalization on domestic contexts of music-making. Linking the history of music to larger debates on the role of culture in transnational history, “Global Players” unlocks the multiple meanings of music between the national and international scale and refines our understanding of cultural globalization processes.