The American lutenist and guitarist, William Carter, earned both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees as a classical guitarist with Bruce Holzman from Florida State University. He worked for several years in North Carolina’s Artist-in-Residence programme and then accepted the post of Professor of Guitar at Pennsylvania State University. He fell in in love with the earlier plucked instruments and the world of historical performance. Following initial guidance from Pat O'Brien in New York City, he travelled to London in 1989 as a Fulbright Scholar, where he studied the lute with Nigel North
William Carter quickly established himself as one of the leading players on old instruments.He now lives in London and performs frequently as a member of The Palladian Ensemble, The Academy of Ancient Music and The English Concert. Concert tours and festival appearances followed throughout Europe, Asia and North and South America both as an orchestral player and as a chamber musician and soloist with his own group, The Palladian Ensemble. He also plays with The Bach Players (Director: Nicolette Moonen), English Baroque Soloists (Director: John Eliot Gardiner), Yorkshire Baroque Soloists (Director: Peter Seymour)
William Carter has an extensive discography (including 10 CD's with Palladian Ensemble) and has featured on numerous recordings of The Academy of Ancient Music and The English Concert, for both of which he acts as the Principal Lutenist. 2005 saw him embark on a series of solo Baroque guitar recordings for Linn Records, the first, "La Guitarre Royalle: The Music of Francesco Corbetta", was named in Gramophone’s ‘Critics’ Choice’ end of 2005 list. He has been awarded Gramophone’s ‘Editor’s Choice’ accolade twice: for "La Guitarra Española: The Music of Santiago de Murcia" (2007) and "Fernando Sor: Early Works" (2010). The latter album was also featured on BBC Radio 3. His most recent recording in the series, "Le Calme: Fernando Sor Late Works", was awarded an Opus d’Or and also topped Gramophone’s ‘Critics’ Choice’ list. Future plans include recordings on the 19th century guitar as well as the complete lute works of Antonio Vivaldi and lute works by J.S. Bach.
William Carter is also an enthusiastic teacher, and is Professor of Baroque Studies and Lute at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.