New Yorker on Joyce Hatto

Mark Singer has written an article for the New Yorker about the Joyce Hatto hoax, that was revealed earlier this year. I was busy finishing Elephants on Acid when it was making headlines, but Flora posted about it.

Hatto was supposedly a virtuoso pianist, whose talent was discovered only very late in her life, when she was already in her seventies. She was notable for being able to masterfully play a wide variety of works, including compositions by Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff. But it turned out that her husband had been taking recordings of other pianists and claiming they were recordings of Joyce. Singer tries to understand what motivated Hatto's husband to do this. It's a good article. Definitely worth a read.


Posted on Thu Sep 27, 2007


You've got it wrong! She started out playing concerts,long before her seventies, which were well-received. The fakery only began late in her life. Re-read the New Yorker article!
Posted by Mr Henderson  on  Thu Sep 27, 2007  at  05:43 PM
Okay, I slightly misphrased what I meant to say. How about, "whose talent became widely acclaimed only very late in her life."

Yeah, she was playing concerts earlier, but it doesn't seem like she was widely known.
Posted by The Curator  in  San Diego  on  Thu Sep 27, 2007  at  09:36 PM
As I've pointed out before, she was a very talented pianist. Towards the end of her life, she was suffering from terrible, incredibly painful cancer. Her husband, a sound engineer, recorded her playing, but all through the music you could hear her moaning and crying in pain. Therefore, he replaced her recordings with recordings of famous muscians. She never knew a thing about it, and died before she ever found out.

I think what's funny here is all those music critics who pose as piano experts, who couldn't recognise a famous recording when labelled with someone else's name. Shows how much they know.
Posted by Nona  on  Mon Oct 01, 2007  at  06:23 AM
Fascinating article -- I read every word. It doesn't agree 100 percent with your summary, though, Nona. According to the article, she had to be a participant in the hoax/fraud/whatever you choose to call it. I don't know which is true, of course, but anyway, it's really interesting. I strongly recommend that anyone who is even mildly interested at least give the article a try.
Posted by Kathleen  on  Mon Oct 01, 2007  at  08:45 AM
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