Peter Blanchette is the inventor of the 11-string archguitar. “Blanchette is an ace on this, his self-designed instrument.” – Billboard Magazine. 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.
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. His classical/jazz concept recording, “Had Miles Met Maurice” (DORIAN #dor-93198) was selected by AudioPhile Magazine as a “Top 100 Jazz CD of 2001.”
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 HBO’s “Sex and the City,” USA Network/NBC’s “Royal Pains,” 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.
“His updated film scores make the silents sing.” – Boston Sunday Globe.
In the late 1990′s, the Massachusetts International Festival of the Arts (MIFA) commissioned Peter Blanchette to compose scores to the Buster Keaton silent comedies “The General” and “The Navigator” which resulted in sell-out performances in venues around the Northeast. In 2009 Blanchette received grants from New England Foundation for the Arts “Meet the Composer,” and the Northampton Arts Council to complete the trio of Keaton’s masterpieces by composing a multi-instrumental score to the 1928 comedy, Steamboat Bill, Jr. which he premiered, along with master classes in film scoring, to resounding success at the Dingle Film Festival in Ireland in September 2009, and Amherst Cinema Arts Center in October 2009.
He is also the founder and Artistic Director of the critcally-acclaimed Happy Valley Guitar Orchestra (hvgo.org), 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.