The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is celebrating the news that the appeals lodged against member James Carrabino by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, have been dropped and the notice has been withdrawn.
The appeals, brought by the local authority, were against the decision made in 2016 to allow Carrabino, a young musician of the year finalist, to play the piano, following noise complaints from one neighbour.
Annette Carrabino released this statement on behalf of the family: ‘My husband and I are delighted that the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (“RBKC”) has withdrawn the notice and its appeals of the judgments in our favour handed down in Magistrates’ Court last year.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 ISM 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 James said: ‘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.’
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea was ordered to pay the Carrabinos' costs in full.