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'Japan's Beethoven' admits using ghost composer

Published on Feb 5, 2014 12:59 PM

TOKYO (AFP) - A deaf composer, dubbed Japan's Beethoven, confessed on Wednesday 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.

Mr Mamoru Samuragoch shot to fame in the mid 1990s with classical compositions that provided the soundtrack to video games including Resident Evil, despite having had a degenerative condition that affected his hearing since childhood.

He became completely deaf at the age of 35, but continued to work, notably producing "Symphony No.1, Hiroshima", a tribute to those killed in the 1945 atomic bombing of the city.

In March last year, public broadcaster NHK aired a documentary entitled "Melody of the Soul", in which it showed the musician touring the tsunami-battered Tohoku region to meet survivors and those who lost relatives in the 2011 catastrophe.

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