Peter Blanchette

Peter Blanchette is the inventor of the 11-string archguitar. His repertoire of unusual and internationally acclaimed arrangements and compositions spans from medieval to contemporary to ethnic, played in solo recital or with selected other instrumentalists to form the Virtual Consort.

The Archguitar

Peter was inspired to invent the archguitar in 1982. He wanted an instrument with more strings and a larger range so he could play the renaissance lute style music that had captured his interest in late adolescence. Blanchette's mentor and professor at Boston Conservatory of Music, Walter Stanul, built an instrument to his specifications.


A recipient of the MCC Artist Grant in Music Composition, Blanchette is a veteran performer of such high profile venues as NPR’s “A Prairie Home Companion,” and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. His CDs receive heavy airplay on “Sunday Baroque,” “The Thistle and Shamrock,” and regionally on WAMC, WNYC, and WFCR.


In 2011, he received New England Public Radio Foundation’s Arts and Humanities Award for outstanding individual artist. As a composer, he has contributed to such television programs as USA Network's "Royal Pains," HBO’s “Sex and the City,” and PBS’ “Inside the Tuscan Hills.” Among other film work, Blanchette worked extensively with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer William Bolcom and director John Turturro on Turturro’s film Illuminata.


Peter is also the founder and Artistic Director of the Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra, and holds a Master’s Degree in Music Composition from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree from Marlboro College in Marlboro, Vermont.