Joyce Hatto: The Ultimate Recording Hoax

The real story
The Joyce Hatto hoax story — inevitably now dubbed “Hattogate” in certain parts of the media — has been told many times in newspapers, magazines and journals around the world, as well as being summarised on radio and TV news programmes and discussed all over the Internet. Over 100 CDs, issued over recent years, are believed to be the work of other pianists, sometimes solo, sometimes with other orchestras and conductors, and that not of Joyce Hatto. Whilst there were a number of genuine recordings made by Joyce Hatto in the 1960s and 1970, there appears to be nothing to suggest she played on any of the more recent alleged recordings.

It has been interesting to see how different media have interpreted the story, how inaccuracies creep into one story and are then repeated in the next, and how certain sections of the press, particularly in the UK, seem to have little regard for basic fact-checking or research. On this page I’ve aimed to outline the story based on my own knowledge and understanding of what happened and when, and my own involvement in the technical side of proving the fact and nature of the hoax. What then follows are the eight pages of this site, preserved more or less at the point they’d reached when William Barrington-Coupe finally began to admit his involvement in public

That’s the beginning of a detailed article about the uncovering of this hoax, literally straight from the horse’s mouth, since it comes from Andrew Rose of Pristine Audio, specialists in digital remastering of old recordings, who were the ones contacted by Gramophone magazine to investigate the original claim. The article makes fascinating reading.

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