The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, July 30, 2014

'Japan's Beethoven' Mamoru Samuragochi not even deaf: ghost composer Takashi Niigaki
This photo taken in December 2013 shows deaf composer Mamoru Samuragoch (Samuragochi) in Hiroshima, western Japan. A deaf composer, dubbed Japan's Beethoven, confessed on February 5, 2014 to hiring someone to write his most iconic works, leaving duped broadcaster NHK red-faced, and casting a cloud over a figure skater set to dance to his music in Sochi. AFP PHOTO/Jiji Press.

By: Harumi Ozawa

TOKYO (AFP).- The musical brains behind a supposedly deaf composer dubbed "Japan's Beethoven" claimed Thursday that the mock maestro was a scheming manipulator who could hear normally -- but couldn't even write sheet music.

The startling allegations come a day after Mamoru Samuragochi confessed to hiring another man to write his best-known works, including a smash hit that had been adopted by classical music-lovers as an anthem to Japan's tsunami-hit communities.

In a press conference that lasted for more than an hour and was broadcast live on television, part-time music school teacher Takashi Niigaki said for the last 18 years he had been penning the tunes.

"I am an accomplice of Samuragochi because I continued composing just as he demanded, although I knew he was deceiving people," he said.

Niigaki told reporters he had been paid just 7 million yen ($70,000) over the nearly two decades of their collaboration, during which he had composed more than 20 pieces.

"I told him a few times that we should stop doing this, but he never gave in. Also he said he would commit suicide if I stopped composing for him."

The 43-year-old said he had called time on the deception after learning that Winter Olympics medal hopeful, figure skater Daisuke Takahashi had chosen to dance to a piece that would be credited to Samuragochi.

"I was afraid that even Takahashi, who will perform in the Olympics for Japan, would be used to enforce the lies made by Samuragochi and me," he said.

The piece is a sonatina supposedly composed in tribute to a teenage violinist with a prosthetic right arm who had been supported by the well-known musician.

The girl's father said in a statement that the family never suspected Samuragochi was anything other than he claimed to be when became her patron.

"But in the past year, he demanded our absolute obedience to the point where we could no longer take it," he said. "We told him we could not obey any more in November last year, which provoked his anger. Our relationship has been severed since then."

Samuragochi, 50, came to public attention in the mid-1990s with classical compositions that provided the soundtrack to video games including Resident Evil, despite reputedly having a degenerative illness that left him profoundly deaf by the age of 35.

Over the following two decades his fame grew, as did his reputation as a tormented artist held hostage by his ungovernable passion for music that he could no longer hear.

But Samuragochi, who once described his deafness as a "gift from God", was far from the tortured genius of his public persona, Niigaki said Thursday, and the hearing loss was little more than an act.

"I've never felt he was deaf ever since we met," he said. "We carry on normal conversations. I don't think he is (handicapped).

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

"He told me, after the music for the video games was unveiled, that he would continue to play the role (of a deaf person)."

He also added Samuragochi would listen to recordings of his music and offer critiques.

Samuragochi has not responded publicly to the fresh allegations.

The scandal, which has gripped Japan, surfaced on Wednesday when Samuragochi came clean through his lawyer as the Shukan Bunshun weekly magazine readied to print a tell-all interview with Niigaki in its Thursday edition.

The Tokyo-based music teacher claimed he thought initially he was being hired as a composer's assistant.

"But later I found out that he cannot even write musical scores," he said. "In the end, I was an accomplice."

The most famous work credited to Samuragochi is "Symphony No.1, Hiroshima", which its supposed creator said had been written in tribute to those killed in the 1945 atomic bombing of the city.

The work became an extraordinary hit for a classical music CD, selling 180,000 copies in a genre where a hit often only logs 3,000 sales, according to its distributor.

© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

February 7, 2014

Major exhibition of the work of Turner Prize winner Richard Deacon opens at Tate Britain

Beyond LOVE: McNay Art Museum presents the work of artist Robert Indiana

Egypt's antiquities ministry announces evidence of Pharoah power-sharing unearthed in Egypt

'From Matisse to the Blue Rider. Expressionism in Germany and France' opens in Zurich

United States returns Polish painting by Johann Conrad Seekatz stolen by Nazis

Street artist Banksy's Kissing Coppers to be auctioned at Fine Art Auctions Miami

Anthony Giannini's solo show "Crossing the Line" opens at Walter Otero Contemporary Art

Artists work with local businesses to launch unique advertising project on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

New exhibition by German artist Michail Pirgelis opens at Sprüth Magers in Berlin

Harmony restored: United States cops recover stolen 300-year-old Stradivarius

Red Light Secrets Museum of Prostitution opens in Amsterdam's red-light zone

Bonhams smashes expectations at charity sale of Pope Francis' Harley-Davidson and jacket

'Japan's Beethoven' Mamoru Samuragochi not even deaf: ghost composer Takashi Niigaki

Sacrifice Your Body: New body of work by Roe Ethridge on view at Capitain Petzel, Berlin

Georgia O'Keeffe Museum announces new Director of Museum Advancement Debbie Brient

Nationalmuseum Sweden announces acquisition of studio interior by Nils Forsberg

First U.S. museum solo exhibition of sculptor Tony Matelli opens at the Davis Museum at Wellesley College

"Nikolai Ishchuk: Indeterminate Objects" opens at Denny Gallery in New York

Churchill memo on Tonypandy riots - 'I do not anticipate any shooting' - for sale at Bonhams

Tampa Museum of Art celebrates the University of South Florida's Graphicstudio in new exhibition

Abraham Cruzvillegas: The Autoconstrucción Suites on view at Haus der Kunst

Tracey Rose presents a previously unseen project at Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Archaeologists discover Roman 'free choice' cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome

2.- Romanians must pay 18 million euros over Kunsthal Museum Rotterdam art heist

3.- Hello Kitty designer Yuko Yamaguchi defends cute character as cat turns 40 years old

4.- eBay and Sotheby's partner to bring world class art and collectibles to a global community

5.- Exhibition on Screen returns with new series of films bringing great art to big screens across the globe

6.- Marina Abramović reaches half way point of her '512 Hours' performance at the Serpentine Gallery

7.- The Phillips Collection in Washington introduces a uCurate app for curating on-the-go

8.- United States comic icon Archie Andrews dies saving openly gay character

9.- New feathered predatory fossil, unearthed in China, sheds light on dinosaur flight

10.- Exhibition at Thyssen Bornemisza Museum presents an analysis of the concept of the 'unfinished'

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Rmz. - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site