From the NY Times:
On Thursday, Japan learned that one of its most popular musical figures, Mamoru Samuragochi, 50, had staged an elaborate hoax in which someone else had secretly written his most famous compositions, and that he had perhaps even faked his hearing disability.
Across a nation long captivated by Western classical music, people reacted with remorse, outrage and even the rare threat of a lawsuit after Mr. Samuragochi’s revelations that he had hired a ghostwriter since the 1990s to compose most of his music. The anger turned to disbelief when the ghostwriter himself came forward to accuse Mr. Samuragochi of faking his deafness, apparently to win public sympathy and shape the Beethoven persona.
One of his (or, not his) pieces will be on the program at the Olympic figure skating competition in Sochi:
The scandal began on Wednesday, when Mr. Samuragochi publicly confessed that someone else had written his most famous works. These include Symphony No. 1 “Hiroshima,” about the 1945 atomic bombing of his home city, which became a classical music hit in Japan; the theme music for the video games Resident Evil and Onimusha; and Sonatina for Violin, which the Japanese Olympic figure skater Daisuke Takahashi is scheduled to use in his performance in Sochi.
That makes an interesting dilemma for the skater Takahashi, who won a bronze medal at Vancouver four years ago.
The actual composer of the works credited to Samuragochi is apparently Takashi Niigachi, a "largely unknown part-time lecturer" at a college of music in Tokyo.
Like all art fraud, this raises interesting questions about how and why we appreciate art/music, and how independent a work is from its creator.
Will Samuragochi's compositions still be performed and listened to, now that people know they were written by an obscure music teacher rather than the highly publicized deaf Japanese composer? Will people's assessment of their musical value change?