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New Yorker sues composer for noise pollution

Joseph Neidlin claims he is exposed to ‘excessive and extremely loud piano playing . . . during day and night time hours, generally for several hours at a time’ from his downstairs neighbour.

Jonathan Breit says he’s just doing his job.

Mr Neidlin, 72, claims it’s making his life a misery and reducing the value of his Central Park West property.

Mr Breit, 28, a freelance musician who studied at Mannes and Yale, says the building may need better soundproofing. He plays, he says, two hours a day in daylight.

jonathan breit

Now it’s down to the judge to decide.

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  1. Get a silent Yamaha disklavier.

  2. Mathieu says:

    2 hours a day in daylight does not seem excessive to me.

  3. Benjamin Gordon says:

    Ditto on the Silent piano.
    “suffers from entitlement disorder” ha ha ha

  4. Gabor Fuchs says:

    Many professional musicians live in that area.
    For Mr Breit the ideal solution would be to soundproof his practice room.

  5. robcat2075 says:

    How does a freelance musician afford a Central Park West property?

    • My thoughts exactly. And if he can afford such an apartment, he can also afford a good electronic instrument with a headphone output. I wonder who would have the copyright if somebody “overheard” his nocturnal keyboard musings, wrote them out and published them immediately.

      • robcat2075 says:

        I’m not against him playing (in the daytime). My elderly aunt was a voice teacher with a (rent controlled) apartment on the upper west side and a Steinway grand in the living room to coach her students with. A silent piano would not have sufficed for her.

        Unless there’s an actual city ordinance banning daytime piano playing or (more likely) there is some clause in the lease or co-op documents to that effect I think the suit should fail.

        But i do wonder what his circumstances are to be in such a prime location and why that prime location doesn’t have better sound proofing.

  6. Tom Moore says:

    Given the economic bracket necessary to live in this location, Mr. Neidlin is reasonable to expect that his expensive apartment should not come with a noisy neighbor.

  7. A “Silent” piano can only be suggested by a non-musician, or a non-pianist in the very least. It’s looking pretty bad from Mr. Breit, if Slipped Disc folks can’t get themselves to side with…the musician!

    • Tom Moore says:

      It’s hard to feel sympathetic for a musician who needs to live on Central Park West.

      • Don Stein says:

        “It’s hard to feel sympathetic for a musician who needs to live on Central Park West.” (sigh x 100)

        See how we only need a small catalyst to bring out our jealousy?

        Many musicians in that area come from wealthy families and decided to go into music. God bless them. At least they are doing something creative with their lives and shouldn’t be punished for placing themselves in “suitable environments.” Perhaps he was even downgrading, but that is obviously too difficult for us “little people” to fathom.

        It is a nuisance problem and should be solved by soundproofing the room.

        Maybe the 72 year old was just angry because he felt the piano was competing with the Cab Horn Symphony.

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