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London’s Southbank Centre hires Adem Holness

Holness, who is currently relationship manager (music) at Arts Council England, will join the venue as head of contemporary music

By James Hanley on 05 Sep 2022

Adem Holness

image © Almass Badat

London’s Southbank Centre has appointed Adem Holness as head of contemporary music.

Currently relationship manager (music) at Arts Council England and programme consultant at the Dugdale Arts Centre in Enfield, Adem will join the Southbank Centre’s artistic programming team in mid-September.

Leading the venue’s contemporary music team, Holness will be responsible for curating and overseeing the delivery of 150-plus music events, including the annual artist-curated Meltdown festival and supporting the interdisciplinary experimentation series Purcell Sessions, which launched in September 2021.

“I am beyond thrilled to be joining the team at the Southbank Centre,” says Holness. “As a Londoner, the Southbank Centre has always felt like our hub for groundbreaking music and creativity. So I feel deeply honoured to have the opportunity to help it continue to create space for contemporary music that reflects our city, country and international family. I am so excited to collaborate with artists, creatives, colleagues and partners to dream up new ways for people to experience live music.”

“Adem will certainly take our world renowned gigs and series to the next level”

Holness will also be focused on building new relationships with artists and labels, nurturing young and diverse talent, developing the family of Associate Artists and working with Creative Learning to create music engagement opportunities for young people. In addition, he will contribute to the content strategy for the Southbank Centre’s digital platforms, expanding the reach of contemporary music nationally and internationally.

“Adem will play a pivotal role in not just leading on our incredible contemporary music programme, but also in how it speaks to our other artforms and connects with new audiences to ensure a rich and relevant programme in our venues and across our outdoor and virtual spaces,” adds Mark Ball, artistic director of the Southbank Centre. “With such a varied and deep knowledge of the music landscape, a commitment to championing diverse talent and an unwavering commitment to culture in all its forms, Adem will certainly take our world renowned gigs and series to the next level.”

Holness is a fellow of Clore Leadership, the Royal Society of Arts and PRS Foundation’s Power Up scheme, an initiative supporting Black music creators and industry professionals to address anti-Black racism and racial disparities in the music sector.


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