Fraudulent Composer May Not Be Deaf, Either

February 6, 2014 | Andy Cush

Yesterday, we told you about Mamrou Samuragochi, the acclaimed Japanese composer who admitted he wasn’t actually writing his own music. It’s long been public knowledge that Samuragochi is deaf — it’s part of what gets him countless otherwise unearned comparisons to Beethoven — but now it appears that may not be true either.

Takashi Niigaki, the Tokyo music lecturer who says he’s the one who actually wrote Samuragochi’s music, came forward to a Japanese paper with some details about his relationship with the “composer.” Chief among them: that Samuragochi’s deafness was fake, a bid for public sympathy. Niigaki called it “an act that he was performing to the outside world,” according to the New York Times.

The ghost composer said he was paid about $70,000 for his work on 20 pieces, and that he hadn’t gone public or stopped working earlier because of threats of self-harm from Samuragochi. A piece he wrote for the Japanese figure skater Daisuke Takahashi’s performance at the upcoming winter Olympics was the final straw. “He told me that if I didn’t write songs for him, he’d commit suicide,” he said. “But I could not bear the thought of skater Takahashi being seen by the world as a co-conspirator in our crime.”