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PD Dr. Friedemann Pestel

Senior Lecturer

Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
Department of History
Rempartstraße 15
79085 Freiburg

Street address:
Belfortstraße 20, Rückgebäude, R. 02011
79098 Freiburg
Tel. +49 / (0)761 / 203 97871
ORCID: 0000-0001-9481-4010

Office hours

Tuesday, 14:30-15:30 (no office hour on 14 november)

Research Interests

  • European and Atlantic history in their global entanglements from the 18th to the 21st century
  • Age of Revolutions (1770‒1850)
  • History of the music industry and mobility of musicians in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Political migration and opposition to revolutions
  • History of European conceptions
  • Transnational history, cultural transfer, and entangled history
  • History politics and memory studies


since 2013 Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Modern European History
2023/23 Visiting Scholar, University of California, Berkeley, Institute of European Studies
2022 Habilitation in Modern and Contemporary History, University of Freiburg
2019 Visiting Fellow, University of Bordeaux-Montaigne
since 2019 Associate Member, Centre for French Studies, University of Freiburg
2015/16 Visiting Research Fellow, University of Vienna, Department of East European History
2015 Research Fellow, Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
2009–13 Ph.D. in Modern History, University of Freiburg
2006/07 Pensionnaire étranger, École normale supérieure, Paris, France
2004–09 Staatsexamen, University of Jena, History, French Studies, and Educational Sciences

Scholarships, Fellowships and Prizes

2022/23 Guest Scholar, German Historical Institute Washington, Pacific Regional Office
2022/23 Feodor Lynen Scholarship, Humboldt Foundation
2020/21 Junior Fellowship, Freiburg Institute of Advanced Studies
2019–22 Postdoctoral Excellence Fellow, Baden-Württemberg Foundation
2018–21 Scholar in Residence, Genshagen Foundation
2015–17 DAAD P.R.I.M.E. Fellowship
2013 Gerhard Ritter Prize, University of Freiburg
2012/13 Doctoral scholarship, FAZIT Foundation
2010 Research Fellow, Musée de la Révolution française, Vizille
2010 Doctoral scholarship, German Historical Institute London
2009/11 Doctoral scholarship, German Historical Institute Paris
2009 Walter Markov Prize, Karl Lamprecht Society Leipzig in collaboration with the European Network in Universal and Global History
2006–12 Student and doctoral scholarship, German National Academic Foundation

Second book project (finished)

„Global Players: Orchestertourneen und internationaler Musikbetrieb im 20. Jahrhundert“

During the 20th century, symphony orchestras turned into crucial international actors shaping cultural relations across the globe. This book project looks at the tours of German and Austrian orchestras in Europe, North and Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Case studies include the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestras, the Meiningen Hofkapelle, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, and the Philharmonia Hungarica Marl. “Global Players” investigates the political driving forces of musical mobility, embedded in the economic and artistic contexts of international musical life. This project shows how, and why, German and Austrian orchestras assumed principal roles in the internationalisation of classical music. With this multi-perspective focus, it explores how musical mobility evolved and changed over a long 20th century.

In particular, “Global Players” analyses 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 world practices, it demonstrates 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, this project emphasises the agency of internationally active musicians, the appropriation of musical performances across the globe, and the impact of globalisation 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 globalisation processes.

Office Hours

Conferences, Workshops, Exhibitions

June 23-25, 2022 Workshop: Infrastructures of Musical Globalization, c. 1850‒2000, with Martin Rempe, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Käte Hamburger Kolleg Global Dis:Connect/Historisches Kolleg Munich
February 27, 2021 Panel: Cosmopolitan Conservatisms: Countering Revolution in Transnational Networks, Ideas and Movements (c. 1700‒1930), with Matthijs Lok and Juliette Reboul, Consortium on the Revolutionary Era, 1750‒1850, 2021 Annual Meeting (online)
February 2017 to January 2018 Co-curator of the exhibition: Vienna and New York: 175 Years of Two Philharmonics/175 Jahre Philharmoniker: Wien und New York, with Barbara Haws, Silvia Kargl, and Gabryel Smith, Austrian Cultural Forum New York/Haus der Musik Wien
July 13, 2017 Panel: European Memory: Universalising the Past?, with Gregor Feindt, Félix Krawatzek, and Rieke Trimçev, 24th International Conference of Europeanists, Council for European Studies, Glasgow.
December 4-11, 2012 Working group: European Memory
Transnational Memory beyond the Nation, in collaboration with Gregor Feindt, Félix Krawatzek, Daniela Mehler, and Rieke Schäfer, Center for Interdisciplinary Research, University of Bielefeld
January 12-14, 2012 Workshop:
Writing Transnational History. Challenges between Method, Empiricism, and Presentation, University of Bonn, Department of Eastern European History, in collaboration with Gregor Feindt, funded by the German Academic Scholarship Foundation
July 13-16, 2011 Working group: European Memory
Transnational Memory beyond the Nation, in collaboration with Gregor Feindt, Félix Krawatzek, Daniela Mehler, and Rieke Schäfer, Center for Interdisciplinary Research, University of Bielefeld



Edited Volumes


  • Obsession ,Amerika‘: Wilhelm Furtwänglers transatlantische Karriere (1925‒1954), in: Carola Bebermeier/Clemens Kreutzfeldt/Melanie Unseld (Hrsg.): Music Across the Ocean: Processes of Cultural Exchange in a Transatlantic Space, 1800–1950, im Druck.
  • Sortie de guerre musicale et ouverture culturelle: les orchestres et chefs germaniques en France, 1894‒1914, in: Marion Glaumaud-Carbonnier/Nicholas White (Hrsg.): Lendemains de défaite: 1870‒71 dans les idées, la littérature, les arts et la mémoire de la IIIe République (im Druck).
  • (Un-)Settling Exile: Imagining Outposts of the French Emigration across the Globe, in: Jan C. Jansen/Kirsten McKenzie (Hrsg.): Moving Under Pressure in an Age of War and Revolution (1750‒1830), im Druck.
  • The Political Force of Memory: The Making and Unmaking of Brexit as an Event, mit Félix Krawatzek, in: Comparative Studies in Society and History (online first).

  • New Histories of and for Europe: Narrating the European Project, mit Félix Krawatzek, in: Contemporary European History (online first).
  • Staatskapelle und sozialistischer Staat: Das Dresdner „Kapellkollektiv“ in der DDR (1949‒1990), in: Christoph Dennerlein/Michael Märker (Hrsg.): Goldglanz und Schattenwürfe: Die Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden in den Jahren 1923 bis 2023, Altenburg 2023, S. 185‒250.
  • First Concerts on the International Stage: The British Comebacks of the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonics in 1947/48, in: Anaïs Fléchet/Martin Guerpin/Philippe Gumplowicz/Barbara Kelly (Hrsg.): Music and Postwar Transitions in the 19th and 20th Centuries (Explorations in Culture and International History 10), New York/Oxford, S. 54‒79.


Conference Reports