The following message was sent by Cornell Dean of Arts and Sciences Gretchen Ritter:

“It is with great sadness that I report that we have lost a graduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences. Taylan Cihan passed away this morning, October 8.

A doctoral student who studied composition with Steven Stucky and Roberto Sierra, and electronic music and composition with Kevin Ernste, Taylan collaborated with many faculty and students, not only within the Music department, but also in Science and Technology Studies, East Asian Studies, and the College of Architecture, Art and Planning.

He was a founding member of CAGE (Cornell Avant Guard Ensemble), and volunteered on a DIY project with the History Center in Tompkins County. He built synthesizers and instruments and taught others how to do the same. By all accounts, he was an inventive and dedicated artist.

Plans for a commemorative gathering will be shared in the days to come.

On behalf of the College of Arts and Sciences, I want to extend my deepest condolences to Taylan’s family, friends, faculty advisors, artistic collaborators, fellow graduate students, as well as those students that he taught. Please join me in taking a moment to remember Taylan and acknowledge this tremendous loss within our community.


Support services are available to all members of the Cornell community. Students may consult with counselors from Gannett Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) by calling 607-255-5155. Students may speak with a peer counselor by calling EARS at 607-255-3277.

Employees may call the Faculty Staff Assistance Program (FSAP) at 607-255-2673. An Ithaca-based Crisisline is available at 607-272-1616. For additional resources, visit CaringCommunity.cornell.edu.


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Jeff Stein

Jeff Stein is the founder and former editor of the Ithaca Voice.