Aaron Travers was born in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1975. He earned a BM in Composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music in 1997, 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, including an Arts and Letters Award, a Goddard Lieberson Fellowship, and a Charles Ives Scholarship, all from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He also won the 2022 Mader Composition Competition for solo organ, the 2016 Red Note Music Festival Composition Award, 2nd prize in the 2013 Alexander Zemlinsky Composition Competition from the Cincinnati Conservatory, a Fromm Music Foundation Commission Award in 2007, the Chicago Symphony First Hearing Award, the Barlow Prize from the Barlow Endowment of Brigham Young University, and the Lili Boulanger Memorial Fund Award, among many others.
Mr. Travers has received commissions from the Fromm Foundation, the Library of Congress, the American Wild Ensemble, the University of Miami Frost Wind Ensemble, Ars Mobilis, the Third Coast Percussion Quartet, Ensemble Dal Niente, Ensemble 61, the Avion Saxophone Quartet, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Tarab Cello Ensemble, the Barlow Endowment, and the 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, 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. Some of his more recent compositions include Yellowwood for orchestra, in honor of the 100th 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.
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 Associate 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.