John Ruggero received his B.A. in music at Duke University, where he studied piano with Loren Withers and composition with Iain Hamilton. He received his Master Degree in Piano Performance from The Juilliard School, as a scholarship student of Erwin Freundlich. After graduation, he worked in New York with famed music copyist and editor Arnold Arnstein, preparing performance materials for many well-known American composers, among them Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Virgil Thompson, Gian Carlo Menotti, and John Corigliano Jr.
Returning to Raleigh in 1975, he became the associate director of the North Carolina Chamber Players, a group of North Carolina Symphony musicians who presented concerts around the state. He taught piano at Duke University until 1985 and appeared as piano soloist in concerto performances with the Duke, Raleigh and Durham Symphonies. He was also soloist with the North Carolina Symphony several times and appeared with that orchestra in a National Educational Television broadcast.
He has performed extensively in ensemble with the finest musicians in North Carolina. His premiere performance of Robert Ward's Trio "Echoes of America" with Aurora Musicalis, was issued on CD in 1999 by Albany Records and reviewed favorably in Fanfare magazine.
Currently he spends most of his time teaching. His students have won many awards including national first place prizes in the MTNA-Baldwin Junior High School Piano Competition and the MTNA-Yamaha High School Piano Competition, and first prize in the Bartok-Prokofiev-Kabalevsky International Piano Competition.
Over sixty of his students have performed as soloists with the Durham Symphony, Raleigh Symphony, Raleigh Civic Symphony Winston-Salem Symphony, Tar River Orchestra and North Carolina Symphony. Many have continued their musical education in colleges and conservatories, such as The Juilliard School, Indiana University, Manhattan School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, and The Hartt School.
John resides in Raleigh with his wife Sally.