Exposed: ‘Japanese Beethoven’ a fraud?

Exposed: ‘Japanese Beethoven’ a fraud?

Exposed: ‘Japanese Beethoven’ a fraud?

Written by Bella Dalima

07 Feb, 2014 | 3:51 pm

A famous composer celebrated as a “Japanese Beethoven” for creating hit symphonies despite his deafness has been exposed as a fraud, after confessing another musician wrote his most acclaimed works.

And in a surprise twist, the man who says he was the ghost-writer of the works, Takashi Niigaki, claimed in a press conference Thursday that he did not believe the composer was deaf at all. “I’ve never felt he was deaf ever since we met,” said Niigaki. “We carry on normal conversations.”

Niigaki told reporters in Tokyo that over the past 18 years he had been paid about 7 million yen (about $69,000) to write more than 20 pieces to order for popular classical composer Mamoru Samuragochi.

Niigaki, a teacher at the prestigious Toho Gakuen School of Music, said that at no stage did he believe Samuragochi was deaf, as the composer conversed with him normally, and provided critiques on the music he contracted him to write over the years.

Music lecturer Takashi Niigaki admitted being the ghost-writer.

“At first he acted to me also as if he had suffered hearing loss, but he stopped doing so eventually,” said Niigaki.

“Later I found out that he cannot even write musical scores.”

Samuragochi is hailed as an inspirational genius in Japan for having created immensely popular classical symphonies and video game scores, despite reportedly having been completely deaf for 15 years.

He claimed to rely on his perfect pitch to compose after losing his hearing, telling TIME magazine in a 2001 profile that “if you trust your inner sense of sound, you create something that is truer. It is like communicating from the heart. Losing my hearing was a gift from God.”

 

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