The International Centre for Contemporary Music today announced the appointment of Mark Friend as its Executive Director. This new role will see Friend work closely with Zvonimir Hačko, ICCM’s Music Director, on formulating strategy, fundraising and developing relationships across the music industry. Friend’s appointment comes after an extensive international search process.

Launched in September 2021, the International Centre for Contemporary Music is a multi-faceted organisation devoted to the performance, production and promotion of contemporary music. Its ensembles, programmes, recordings and services are intended to provide a platform for the creation and performance of new works and significant ones from the recent past and to encourage audiences to experience works that are either new or date from the recent past.

Mark Friend is an experienced director, trustee and chair with a passion for music and building services which open up new creative possibilities for people. A key architect of the BBC’s digital transformation, he led development of its 10-year global strategy and the launch and scaling up of digital services such as BBC Music, iPlayer Radio, the BBC podcast service, BBC Introducing and the Digital Proms. He has worked with UK and international partners across the music, media, technology and charity sectors to bring new innovations to market and broaden their appeal to a wide audience.

Mark Friend says:
“I look forward to working closely with creative talent and groups in the UK and around the world to increase the range and appeal of contemporary music. Working together, I believe we can bring a new dynamic for audiences and new opportunities for artists and composers.”

ICCM’s Music Director, Zvonimir Hačko commented:
“We have an exciting mission at ICCM to promote the creation and performance of contemporary music. We are delighted that Mark is joining the organisation as we embark on an exciting journey of new commissions, performances and recordings.”

Steve Long, ICCM board member who led the search process commented:
“The post of Executive Director needs someone with very wide ranging knowledge and experience and a very particular skill set. Mark brings the combination of innovation, business and charity experience that we were looking for. I am delighted he has accepted the position and look forward to working closely with him.”

Among ICCM’s highlights for 2022 is its ambitious Leaning East, Music of Eastern Europe series of concerts that includes two world premieres of ICCM commissions and three UK premieres. Performances include Hačko conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on 13 March; Jessica Cottis conducting London Sinfonietta on 27 April and Hačko conducting a celebration of Sofia Gubaidulina on 27 May with the Philharmonia Orchestra.