Missing music theorist is found safe and well

Missing music theorist is found safe and well


norman lebrecht

April 27, 2022

A 24-hour Ohio and Pennsylvania search for Dr Tim Cutler ended a few hours ago with his safe return.

Cutler is head of the music theory department at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and creator of the Internet Music Theory Database, the first large-scale online anthology of music theory examples.


  • alan says:

    a sad tale, but music will survive if more theorists go missing

  • Kenny says:

    So Monty Python.

  • Euphonium Al says:

    Glad to hear Dr. Cutler is safe. I don’t know him personally but my childhood home is just a few blocks from where he went missing. Lovely little corner of the world.

  • John Borstlap says:

    It is not unusual for music theorists to get astray.

  • Robert Holmén says:

    So… what happened? The news reports just say he disappeared and then his car turned up 150 miles away.

  • MusicPhan87 says:

    He admitted to sexually assaulting a student after the student came forward with pictures and texts. There is no police report filed, but perhaps he was running away from his wife and daughter?

    • Michael says:

      Wait, what? Is this verified?

    • Concerned says:

      Would you please elaborate on how you know this?

    • Concerned ClM alum says:

      This is a pretty incendiary thing to post on a public forum on the Internet. I don’t want to make any assumptions without further information – how do you know this?

      • MusicPhan87 says:

        I’m afraid I’m not at liberty to say, but I’ve seen said documents myself. You don’t have to take my word for it. I don’t want to see CIM covering something up. When he went missing, they should’ve been honest about from what he was running; you don’t need to reveal the victim’s name. I wish I could, but for the safety of the victim I really cannot elaborate.

  • Anonymous says:

    Um. This administration knew about his molestation for YEARS. The fact that CIM is ok with throwing victims under the bus as long as they can do their damage control is despicable. Cutting this man loose without taking any accountability for enabling his behavior is a new low and really quite telling of a cowardly institution that doesn’t mind keeping its reputation as a hotbed of scumbags and sexual abuse.

    Now that this “teacher” is gone, I would just like to say that people have been harmed in a way that can never be fully repaired. This case is way more horrific than most can imagine and while there is no restitution for the pain and breach of trust he has caused, I hope his victims can come forward to law enforcement and he is sentenced appropriately. I can’t even convey the rage and sorrow I feel for them and our of respect for these brave individuals I will not share any details. But we must remember it’s not their job to pick up the pieces, that is on the institution.

    Sincerely, a former CIM student.