On Feb. 6, 2014, composer Takashi Niigaki faced a crowd of reporters at the Hotel New Otani in Tokyo and took a deep and apologetic bow. He had just revealed that he was ghostwriter for Mamoru Samuragochi, who was celebrated as "Japan's Beethoven" before being exposed as a fraud. Niigaki confessed to the room that, by remaining silent, he felt he was complicit in the deceit.
In Hiroshima on Aug. 15 of this year, Niigaki found himself again bowing before a crowd, but this time it was on a stage in acceptance of a warm shower of applause. His Symphony No. 2, "Litany," had just made its debut under the baton of Ryohei Matsuo. It is the first symphony Niigaki has written since the Samuragochi affair. He also gave a solo performance of his own piano concerto, the aptly named "Shinsei" ("New Birth").
"I am so happy to share this occasion with you all," the composer told an audience in Tokyo on Aug. 23 after the second public performance of "Litany," one that he conducted himself for the first time.