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Born Charles Sprague Ruggles in 1876 in East Marion, Massachusetts, he later changed to what he considered a more Teutonic-sounding name, Carl Ruggles. From his New England home he moved to Winona, Minnesota, where he founded a symphony, composed, and painted for ten years. Ruggles then moved to New York, associating with Ives, Varèse, Cowell, Slonimsky, and Seeger. Here he truly began his works and here many received their debut performances. He taught composition at the University of Miami (1938-43), then returned to New England, settling in a converted Vermont schoolhouse. Ruggles died in Bennington, Vermont in 1971.

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