Tragic loss: NY composer is killed on his bike

Tragic loss: NY composer is killed on his bike


norman lebrecht

November 10, 2017

The composer Samuel Pellman, an electroacoustic specialist, was killed yesterday in upstate New York while riding his bicycle in the Oneida County town of Kirkland.

Pellman, 64, was a professor at Hamilton College and author of a respected how-to guide to making electronic music. On leave for the current term, he was riding his bike around Kirkland at midday when he was struck from behind by a car driven by an 86-year-old lady.

Sam Pellman leaves a widow, Colleen, and two children. He was an outstanding teacher.

A list of his compositions can be found here. Many have been recorded.


  • Douglas Raybeck says:

    Sam was a dear and inspiring friend who cared deeply about the well-being of others. He will be sorely missed by family, colleagues and students.

  • Andrew Zaplatynsky says:

    Deeply saddened by this tragedy. I have fond memories of this dear colleague from my days at Hamilton College. Sam Pellman was a kind and modest man of immense accomplishment.

  • Ronald L. Caravan says:

    As grieving words are written and spoken over the next few days regarding the sudden and tragic passing of our musical colleague and friend Sam Pellman, as much will be said of his high and endearing personal qualities as his lofty musical achievements and beloved teaching. A familiar verse of Scripture affirms to us that “man does not know his time” (ESV). But our God-given instincts of desire for eternal life inevitably compel us to wish that a loved one’s time could have been longer, especially when one is lost in the prime of living. The grieving, even the shock, of Sam’s death will not pass easily or quickly. Now we must focus our emotions as best we can on his life’s contributions–to family, friends, musical colleagues, students, and his profession–and appreciate more deeply a life lived especially well.