John Huggler was born August 30, 1928 in Rochester, New York. He majored in music history and clarinet at the Eastman School of Music, from which he was graduated in 1950. At that time he began to compose and is primarily self-taught as a composer. He considers Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schoenberg and Bartok the mentors that helped him forge his aesthetic.
Huggler has received a number of awards, honors and commissions including two Guggenheim Fellowships, Composer-in-Residence with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (1963-64 season, Erich Leinsdorf), two MacDowell Fellowships, Yaddo 1960, commissions from Horace Mann School, New York University, Ford Foundation, Armando Ghitalla, Fromm, Boston Musica Viva, Harvard Musical Association, etc. He was Professor of Music at the University of Massachusetts at Boston for many years.
His music is justly admired for its imagination, intensity, clarity and a strong lyrical sense.