Ludwig Pesch

Ludwig_Pesch_0726webLudwig Pesch is best known as musicologist and educator. Being trained as flautist trained in the “Carnatic” music tradition of South India, he loves playing a music described as “an eloquent demonstration of the universal fact that music transcendents cultural and linguistic barriers” (Indian Express); “captivating and chaste rendition …  a golden link with the West.” (Another Garland: A Biographical Dictionary of Carnatic Composers and Musicians; Chennai, 1993). “Pesch created melodies that reached one’s heart” (Eindhovens Dagblad, The Netherlands) – More reviews >>

Interested in “other” ways of teaching and sharing music, he studied South Indian music at Kalakshetra (Diploma and Post-Diploma courses) after serving as church organist and studying music and musicology in Freiburg (Germany). He specialized in bamboo flute under the guidance of his Indian teacher Ramachandra Shastry (1906-92), an adherent to the personalized gurukula system of teaching with whom he performed on many occasions.

For the distance education department of Lüneburg University he developed two online courses (one in English and another in German).

Oxford University Press commissioned him to write the “The Oxford Illustrated Companion to South Indian Classical Music“. For publishing details please check the catalogue of >>

In 2006-7 he taught at the Bern University of the Arts Switzerland based on a HKB research project titled “Sam, Reflection, Gathering Together!” ( and as part of the 2007 “Musik und Mensch” colloquium series of the Pädagogische Hochschule FHNW in Switzerland.

“In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the spread of knowledge about India’s spirit and life”, he was awarded the Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Rabindranath Tagore Cultural Award.

The realisation of the sheer beauty of unadulterated sound will open many more doors also for Carnatic music. … Not surprising the Amsterdam-based Pesch is a known musicologist today, with a number of publications to his credit. Perhaps that is why Oxford University Press thought it fit to ask him, rather than an Indian scholar, to pen “The Oxford Illustrated Companion to South Indian Classical Music” … Pesch is certainly a teacher at heart. But his teaching is not only for the specialised or the academics.

Excerpt from Harmony! (interview on Carnatic Music and art education) by Anjana Rajan in The Hindu (Friday Review, November 13, 2009)

His e-learning courses have won acclaim: “a fantastic resource …  inspirational”; other participants liked it for being “great fun for those of us who have not taken lessons in Karnatic music”; an Indian student’s unsolicited testimonial reads:  “As someone who did not have an opportunity to learn the rudiments of Carnatic music, I highly value this course.” –

Tropenmuseum-visit-India-Inspiration-25In collaboration with the Royal Tropical Museum Amsterdam and Architectenbureau Jowa ( he researched and developed a semi-permanent exhibition highlighting the inspiration derived from India in the West, and aspects of migration from India that are relevant for Dutch society.

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