The ‘Japanese Beethoven’ admits he had help

When Japanese composer Mamoru Samuragochi went completely deaf at the age of 35, he continued to compose music, explaining that he was able to do so because of his "absolute pitch." Some of his most popular works were composed when he was deaf, such as his Hiroshima Symphony No 1. On account of this, people began calling him the "Japanese Beethoven."

But now he's admitted that when he started losing his hearing he relied on a "ghost composer" to help him create his works. Samuragochi would outline the basic concept of the work, and the other guy would produce the finished composition.

Samuragochi didn't say who the ghost composer was, but the Japanese media is pointing the finger at Takashi Niigaki.

This recalls the celebrated scandal from the 1930's involving the violinist Fritz Kreisler. The difference being that Kreisler said he was performing the works of other famous composers (although they were actually his own compositions), whereas Samuragochi said the works were his own, but they were really partially someone else's.

'Japanese Beethoven' admits he is a fraud
BBC News

A deaf composer who has been dubbed "Japan's Beethoven" has admitted hiring someone else to write his music for nearly two decades.
Mamoru Samuragochi shot to fame in the mid-1990s and is most famous for his Hiroshima Symphony No 1, dedicated to those killed in the 1945 atomic blast.
The 50-year-old has now confessed he has not composed his own music since 1996.

[Thanks to Bob Pagani for the link!]


Posted on Thu Feb 06, 2014


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