22/09/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Right to Practise Upheld by UK Court

5651d68a-be94-4393-8de7-134ef5f17363

Legal battle over for London student pianist

A former piano finalist of Woking Young Musician of the Year has won the right to practise at home after a three-year legal battle.

James Carrabino progressed through the competition in 2015 after his family had been served with a noise abatement order on their Kensington home. The Carrabinos had objected to their neighbour’s proposal to build a basement extension. Soon afterwards, they received the order, which prohibited James and his younger brother from practising the piano for more than an hour a day.

This order was challenged by the family last year with the help of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, which supports UK musicians and protects the rights of professionals in the industry. In a subsequent ruling by District Judge Elizabeth Roscoe, the order was partially overturned to allow James, who is now a student at the Royal College of Music, to practise on the instrument for up to five hours each day. District Judge Roscoe remarked at the time that ‘Play is absolutely an entitlement.’ The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea appealed the judgment but this week withdrew the appeal and have agreed to pay costs.

James’s mother Annette Carrabino released this statement on behalf of the family: ‘My husband and I are delighted that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has withdrawn the notice and its appeals of the judgments in our favour handed down in Magistrates’ Court last year. The Council’s withdrawal of all legal proceedings against us follows a three-year ordeal during which the Council pursued this unnecessary and unwarranted action to severely restrict our children’s ability to play the piano in our family home.

‘The Council’s withdrawal of its appeals is also excellent news for all musicians in the UK. District Judge Roscoe’s judgment sets a standard which no local authority can ignore, making it clear piano playing is a normal domestic use of a family home and that “play is absolutely an entitlement…”. Any musician that is in a dispute of this nature can refer to this case as an example of a musician’s right to play or practice their instrument at home at reasonable times of the day and for reasonable periods – in this case, the judge considered five hours a day to be reasonable.

‘We are very grateful throughout this ordeal to have had the professional support of the Incorporated Society of Musicians and our barrister, Mr Richard Turney of Landmark Chambers, both of whom have worked tirelessly to defend musicians’ rights throughout the United Kingdom.’

Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the ISM, whose legal team represented Carrabino, commented: ‘We are delighted by the news that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has dropped its appeals against the decision to allow our member James Carrabino to practice in his home. This marks the end of three years where attempts have been made to stifle a musician’s activities.

‘This is a success story for the Carrabino family, and excellent news for all musicians who may find themselves in a similar situation in the future. We are delighted to have played our part as the professional body for musicians in supporting and championing musicians’ rights.’

Keep updated on Piano news with the latest issue of Pianist magazine available here!

Back to News

22/09/2017 Share this story Share on Facebook icon Share on Twitter icon Share on Pinterest icon Share on Google Plus icon Share on Linked In icon Share via Email icon

Recent Updates

An English Rachmaninov

Simon Callaghan talks to Peter Quantrill about his latest recording of Roger Sacheverell Coke ...


Julian Jacobson 70th Birthday Concert Series kicks off on 22 October

at London's St John’s Smith Square, with works by Beethoven, Schubert and Prokofiev ...


Ghost Variations takes a tour of the UK

Jessica Duchen’s novel, Ghost Variations, in narrated concert form this October through to February 2018 ...


This viola’s made for running

Birmingham Conservatoire student takes the idea of a marathon session to the next level ...


Other News

Steinway & Sons celebrates 25 years of the Steinway Family

The Boston and Essex lines have reason to celebrate


Yamaha Launch CSP Series Smart Piano

Yamaha Music London launches the new CSP series Smart Pianos, designed to be accessible for everyone to start ...


REVIEW: Solo piano album 'Ghosts' from Caroline Oltmanns

Donald Hunt gives 5-star praise to Schumann, Brahms, Chopin & Wilding ...


Pianist Magazine at BBC Philharmonic Leeds

The Leeds International Concert Season begins on Saturday 14 October, and you’ll find Pianist there too at ...