Millionaire wins silence order against BBC Young Musician

Millionaire wins silence order against BBC Young Musician


norman lebrecht

February 19, 2016

A Kensington financier has secured a court order to limit his neighbours’ piano practise to two hours a day.

His neighbours are two teenaged brothers, one of whom, James Carrabino, 17, is a former finalist in the BBC’s Young Musician of the Year. His parents are appealing the ban.

Joao Baptista, a man with three substantial homes, said: ‘It was torture, the repetition of piano playing, day after day, again and again. It was a tremendous imposition on us, we could not use the hallway or the study without the deafening sound of piano.’

He added: ‘We had to stop having people over for dinner, it was just awful. We could not even have conversations, even at weekends, we would have to stay away from the house.

‘It was fine when they were younger, their fingers were weaker, but now it is just a constant torture. Once they decided they wanted to become professional entertainers it has been a nightmare.’



  • Olassus says:

    Sounds reasonable.

    • Lorenda Ramou says:

      Sounds awful. Instead of paying the lawyers he could pay a soundproof room to the pianist.

      • Frederick West says:

        Or dine out

      • Frederick West says:

        Or he could dine out

      • Max Grimm says:

        Indeed, he could have. However, considering that Mr. Carrabino and Mr. Baptista are neighbours, I think one could be permitted the assumption that Mr. Carrabino and his parents aren’t exactly poor themselves and could have used the money they spent for their own lawyers, court and appeal costs to soundproof their son’s practice room.

  • Dave says:

    “Professional entertainers” – that says a lot. Mind you, I wonder what it says that the guy’s a millionaire but seems to live somewhere with the sound insulation of a paper bag.

    • Tim Walton says:

      This just proves that just because Joao Baptista has a lot of money, it doesn’t mean he has any common sense as well!

  • Cubs Fan says:

    Could be worse…the kid could be a rock band drummer.

  • Emil Chidnovsky says:

    Looks like “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli finally has competition for the title of Soulless D-bag of the Year.

  • John Humphreys says:

    Oh poor man…my heart bleeds for him (I could express it differently but in the interests of decorum I won’t).

  • Dave says:

    I am a professional classical pianist and I have bought a silent upright piano that I play most days and reduced my hours on the grand piano to two hours a day. It’s a disgrace to let neighbours endure our practice sessions. What would you think if it were loud electronic music for 8 hours a day?? I believe these people have a “sense of entitlement” as they believe they are superior beings because they practice classical music… I see too many of them in my field…

    • Marg says:

      I agree with you – neighbours whether wealthy or poor have the right to enjoy their home without undue noise every day from whatever source it is. I had a flat next to a budding flute player who loved to practise scales every night at midnight for two hours. He seemed rather surprised when I suggested it made it impossible for me to sleep and perhaps he could choose a more appropriate time or place.

  • Nicola Lefanu says:

    This line is great

    >>>It was fine when they were younger, their fingers were weaker”

  • Greg Karkowsky says:

    Is it impossible to accept the notion that the kid piano playing my well have been rather incessant?

  • Sponge says:

    The man’s wealth has nothing to do with it apart from try and make people sympathise with the pianist. I’m a pro musician and rarely practice at home as I know it would disturb my neighbours. The court decision is correct. The Carrabinos have no respect.

  • Heinrich Heller says:

    While living in the dorms at Juilliard, I didn’t need an alarm clock because a trombonist living in my suite woke me up really early with the same Wagner excerpts. They are etched into my skull.

  • Jessica says:

    Well they have been very lucky. My local council have restricted my children to half an hour twice a week between three of them. I don’t have the money to challenge this in court so two children have had to pack in.

    • Annette says:

      Dear Jessica

      I have been wanting to respond to your comment here for a very long time but was constrained by ongoing legal proceedings – RBKC appealed the judgments in our favour, and only recently, following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, has dropped these appeals. Please refer to the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ (“ISM”) press release dated 19th September, and the article published in the latest copy of “The Pianist” magazine. Perhaps this message has come too late for your children, but you will see that according to the judge who decided on our case, your children are “absolutely” entitled to play the piano. The judge who decided on our case thought 5 hours per day was reasonable.