Pierre Blanchet, the well respected Breton bagpipe maker, died today after a brief illness.

Pierre lived in Trignac in Loire-Atlantique (Pays de la Loire region) which adjoins Saint-Nazaire. He was a highly skilled restorer and restorer of bagpipes, having started his career as a professional turner in 1977 at the age of 14. From then he quickly specialised in exact replicas of classic and vintage sets of bagpipes. His contribution to the revival of the sound and shape of early Highland bagpipes is unequalled.

He received tuition from leading Breton piper, Jakez Pincet in the nearby town of La Baule-Escoublac.

Pierre was a member of Bagad Saint-Nazaire and, in fact, was its Pipe Major from the mid-1970s. He subsequently played with other Breton bagads but his growing interest in pipe-making soon became his full-time concern.

After studying the principles of acoustics as published by the German physicist, mathematician and musician, Ernst Chladni (1715–1782), he utilised these theories when making his own pipes.

As one pipe maker put it, he made his instruments “the right way.”

Pierre has left a great legacy in the instruments he made and restored but his passing will be a huge loss to piping because others did not learn more from him. He did at least write down much of his knowledge.

We extend our condolences to all who knew him.