Pianist is fined eight grand for disturbing the neighbours

Pianist is fined eight grand for disturbing the neighbours


norman lebrecht

May 22, 2020

Spain, again.

Scherzo reports that a pianist in Tomares has been ordered by a court to soundproof her apartment, or pay an 8,000 Euro fine.

Most of the neighbours gave evidence that they enjoyed her playing during lockdown.

But one pair called the cops.



  • urania says:

    I am living in a flat where the landlord’s wife does play harp and piano mostly each day. Concert piano – new one – arrived lately – against my wall, far from family quaters. She does play 2-3 hours mostly also after 9pm. I am moving now after lots of troubles. It is disturbing after 15 months. When I moved in she told me that she does play harp from time to time. Gave me sound check, I did not hear anything, think it was fake.

    • Kolb Slaw says:

      Most people (should) think they are lucky to get to hear the sound of a harp.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      When Dirk Bogarde lived in Paris he complained about the Labeque sisters as they lived in the same apartment building. Two for the price of one!!!

  • AB says:

    The article states it differently: either to stop playing or to make a sound isolation. The fine of €4.000 to each of two who put the complaint is obligatory.

  • Paul Brownsey says:

    It would appear that lockdown did not induce in this pianist greater consideration for neighbours.

  • Ludwig van Diemensland says:

    English is taking a real hit in these comments

  • caranome says:

    Must be playing John Adams, John Cage or stuff written in past 10 years.

  • annnon says:

    It is reported that the pianist is the world’s leading interpreter of Boulez.

  • Luis says:

    The Spanish pianist Javier Perianes told in an interview that, when he lived in an apartment in Madrid, his neighbors agreed among themselves not to make noise while rehearsing. And sometimes they shouted “bravo!” on the other side of the wall.

  • Kolb Slaw says:

    The one bit of good news is, one can now obtain inexpensive acoustical curtains, which will cover most of a wall, windows, from floor to ceiling, and absorb 95% of the sound. Perhaps within that, one can put up wooden partitions to repair the acoustics of the space. I don’t know how much is left to penetrate the ceiling.

  • CHNina says:

    Honestly, it only takes a bit of basic common sense. First, choose your apartment carefully. My grand piano is in the corner room of a corner apartment on the top floor of the building. I really only have to worry about the family directly beneath me, and a few thick carpets take care of that.

    In other circumstances, I’ve simply had rooms soundproofed. It’s surprisingly inexpensive (certainly only a small fraction of what that lady had to pay in fines), and it’s well worth the cost for peace in the house.

    Of course it also pays to be friendly with your neighbors and to inquire now and then if your playing bothers them, along with a heartfelt “Please do let me know if I’m disturbing you, so I can look for a solution!”

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    I wish we had laws where I live as we have drummers over the road and behind us.

    • Brian viner says:

      You are lucky i have to pay for my cds featuring buddy rich. I do not have free drum solos

  • Brian says:

    I once had a saxophone player playing in our road late in the evening i told him do
    You know basin street he said yes i told him go and play there

  • Robert says:

    Poor man, I hope he at least learned his lesson.