Aaron Travers was born in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1975. He earned a BM in Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1997, studying with Richard Hoffmann, as well as a BA in Classics from Oberlin College the same year. He later earned an MA and PhD 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.
Mr. Travers has received numerous awards and commissions, most recently 2nd prize in the 2013 Alexander Zemlinsky Composition Competition from the Cincinnati Conservatory. He is winner of the Goddard Lieberson Fellowship and a Charles Ives Scholarship, both from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Some of his other awards include the Fromm Music Foundation Commission Award, the Chicago Symphony First Hearing Award, the Barlow Prize from the Barlow Endowment of Brigham Young University, the Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund Award, and the AGO/ECS Publishing Award in Choral Composition.
Mr. Travers has received commissions from the Fromm Foundation, the University of Miami Frost Wind Ensemble, Ars Mobilis, the Third Coast Percussion Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble 61, the Avion Saxophone Quartet, the Hamilton College Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Tarab Cello Ensemble, the Barlow Endowment, the Proper Glue Duo, the University of Rochester, and the South Dakota Symphony, among others. Mr. Travers’ works have been performed widely throughout the world, and his music has been featured at such festivals as the World Saxophone Congress at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, the Tanglewood Festival of Contemporary Music, and the Festival de Violoncelle in Beauvais, France. His most recent compositions include a multimedia piece entitled “Dark Zone” for live ensemble and video projections based on deep sea bioluminescent communication, and a new choral work for NOTUS, IU contemporary vocal ensemble, premiered in March in Bloomington, and performed that same month at Weill Hall. Upcoming projects include an extended work for large organ to be premiered in Fall of 2014 by Randall Harlow, and a new orchestra piece for the Cincinnati Conservatory, to be premiered in 2015.
Mr. 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 currently serves as Assistant Professor of Composition at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he resides with his wife, Winnie, and their two children, Rowan and Linden.