Aaron Travers is associate professor of music in composition and chair of the Composition Department at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.
Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, in 1975, Travers earned a B.M. in Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1997 and a B.A. in Classics from Oberlin College the same year. He later earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Composition from the Eastman School of Music, in 2003 and 2005, respectively. His teachers there included Sydney Hodkinson, Christopher Rouse, Steven Stucky, and Augusta Read Thomas.
Travers has received numerous awards, including an Arts and Letters Award, Goddard Lieberson Fellowship, and Charles Ives Scholarship, all from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He also won the 2021 Mader Composition Competition for solo organ, 2016 Red Note Music Festival Composition Award, 2013 Second Prize in the Alexander Zemlinsky Composition Competition from the Cincinnati Conservatory, 2007 Fromm Music Foundation Commission Award, Chicago Symphony First Hearing Award, Barlow Prize from the Barlow Endowment of Brigham Young University, and Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund Award, among others.
Travers has received commissions from the Fromm Foundation, Library of Congress, American Wild Ensemble, University of Miami Frost Wind Ensemble, Ars Mobilis, Third Coast Percussion Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble 61, Avion Saxophone Quartet, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Tarab Cello Ensemble, Barlow Endowment, and South Dakota Symphony, among many others.
His works have been performed widely throughout the world, and his music has been featured at such festivals as the Festival de Musica Contemporanea in Havana, Cuba, World Saxophone Congress at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, and Festival de Violoncelle in Beauvais, France.
Some of Travers’s more recent compositions include Yellowwood for orchestra, in honor of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Jacobs School of Music; Forests and Barrios, written for the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet and flutist Linda Chatterton; Concierto de Milonga, a piano concerto based on Argentine tango for pianist Solungga Liu; Sanctuary for ensemble, based on the militia takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge; and Hunger, for soprano and string quartet, written for singer Tony Arnold and the Arneis Quartet.
Travers is also a dedicated teacher of composition and theory, teaching at such institutions as Northwestern University, Syracuse University, Loyola University, and Hamilton College.
He resides in Bloomington, Indiana, with his wife, Winnie, and their two children, Rowan and Linden.