Mark Hanau

Mark R. F. von Hanau was born in 1948 in London, England.

Early Life

Mark was also the official photographer for the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art for about three years.

Band Management & Picture Discs

In 1971 Mark became the manager of progressive rock group, Curved Air, and was responsible for the release of the first ever rock picture disc, Airconditioning.The album won the New Musical Express Special Award for Album Art in 1971. Mark met the group (then called Sisyphus) through Galt McDermot, who wrote the music for the stage musical Hair, and was using the group to play in his new production, "Who the Murderer Was". When the musical flopped, Mark took over the band, added Sonja Kristina (who was in the London Hair cast and was then managed by Mark's friend, Roy Guest), and their name was changed to Curved Air.

Mark also released the second picture disc, Magical Love by Saturnalia on his own Matrix Records label (distributed by Polygram) in 1973. Magical Love added a Vari-vue lenticular printing center label to the picture disc process and came with a 24 page booklet on magical love and a ticket to see the band play at the Rainbow Theatre in London.

Mark later refined the picture disc process which became known as the Han-O-Disc.

Album Art & Record Marketing

Mark also designed album art, programs and posters for groups including Black Sabbath, Yes , Curved Air , KISS, Iron Butterfly, book jackets and several hundred movie posters including the poster for Timothy Leary's Dead. The 23rd Annual Hollywood Reporter Key Art Awards had seven posters nominated with photography and/or design credited to him. Mark was also credited by Record Retailer magazine (UK) with producing the first true music video in Europe (as distinct from a promo film).

A BBC Special featured Mark as ‘the world leading expert on record marketing’ along with such notables as Mary Quant (fashion) and the head of JWT (consumer products marketing) Mark was awarded the first ever New Musical Express ‘Special Award’ in 1971 for his ground breaking inventions. Cosmopolitan Magazine called Mark Hanau "a marketing genius". In 1974, Mark took on the management of the band, UFO.

Academy of Live & Recorded Arts

In 1984, The Academy of Live and Recorded Arts. was founded by Sorrel Carson (Artistic Director), Mark Hanau (Chairman) and Carol Ziegler (Company Secretary). The school was the first in England to focus on television and Mark personally designed and constructed its television studios The drama school, under his business management, moved from its original Finchley (London) home and within a few years acquired most of the vast (2.4 acre) historic Gothic Royal Victoria Patriotic Building in the heart of Wandsworth, south-west London. Mark remained as Chairman of the Board of the school until 2001 when his Mother resigned as Artistic Director, due to failing health and ALRA became a Charitable Trust (with the private company dissolved).

Also in the eighties, the focus of Mark's interest had shifted from art and music to science and he founded Advanced Optical Simulation Systems . The company was a pioneer in interactive game technology and acted as a consultant in the design of interactive media.
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