From then until her death in 2006, she hit the studio like Tupac, recording a daunting amount that resulted in over 100 CDs of piano music, showing a shocking range of style. The critics raved, lauding her incredible versatility. She was heralded as "the greatest living pianist that almost no one has ever heard of," a title we suppose is immediately nullified by the word "heralded."
A classical-music aficionado named Brian Ventura popped one of Hatto's CDs into iTunes, which then obligingly informed him that he'd actually bought a CD of the relatively unknown Laszlo Simon. Stunned by what seemed to be the most random mix-up of all time, he sent a note to a music reviewer named Jed Distler. Distler and some colleagues did some digging and discovered that Joyce Hatto had played on virtually none of the CDs attributed to her.
"She was in the same room as the musicians. That counts, right?"
Her "performances" were cobbled together from the work of at least 91 other pianists to create a Super-Skrull of musical talent. In fact, of Hatto's hundred-plus CD catalog, only one has been confirmed as authentically hers. The rest are blatant, crudely manipulated forgeries created by Hatto and her husband. They even invented an orchestra to credit in the fraudulent recordings, led by a Holocaust-survivor conductor who never existed.