Emanuel Arista has made a name for himself in the flute world; although he is self-taught, he is considered one of the most talented flute-makers in the world today. His flutes, sold under the name Emanuel Flutes, compete with the finest flutes on the market, and many influential flutists consider them to be the finest instruments available in the world. During the past two decades, few makers have been able to match the extraordinary quality of tone, intonation, and workmanship evident in Emanuel’s instruments.
An Adolescent With Direction
Born in Lima Peru, Emanuel developed an interest in manual arts, music, and fine craftsmanship during his high-school years in that city. His first foray into the world of flutes was a business he entered into with his father, Miguel Arista, Sr. On the request of the family’s older brother, Miguel Arista, Jr., who was working on the production line at Haynes Flute Company in Boston at the time, they built a prototype flute case with indigenous materials and soon began production of French-style flute cases in Peru, the majority of which were sold to Boston-based flute companies.
The Drive to Succeed
Three years after the introduction of the Arista family’s flute cases to the market, Emanuel immigrated to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to manufacture the cases locally. Upon his arrival, Miguel presented Emanuel with a collection of piccolo parts and asked him to analyze the possibility of building an instrument with the Arista brand. Within a few months, and without any formal machinist training, Emanuel had created a set of tools that led to the introduction of the Arista Piccolo in August, 1976.
With that success, Emanuel enrolled at the Wentworth Institute of Technology to study machine operation and tool-making. His interest in building a set of flute-maker’s tools was so great that he convinced his instructors to allow the project to take precedence over regular class assignments.
Family Initiation Rites
In 1978 the first Arista Flute was shown at the National Flute Association Convention in Washington, D.C. British flutist and flute-maker, William Bennett, collaborated with the Aristas to introduce a new Bennett scale, considered by many to be an improved version of the Cooper scale, the scale used on all Arista Flutes beginning with No. 2. Emanuel’s work with the Arista company stretched over eight years and 175 instruments and included the construction of flute-making tools, flute bodies, and parts such as posts, keys, and crowns.
Emanuel Flutes Are Born
In 1985 Emanuel left Arista Flutes and transferred his skills to the making of precision components and instruments for the communications industry. He dedicated his free time to building his own flute-making tools, buying equipment for his own workshop, creating the master shapes for his own keywork, and initiating and maintaining contact with other flute-makers. Encouraged by mentors Emerson DeFord, Jack Moore, Edward Almeida and Dick Jerome, he introduced Emanuel Flute #1 in 1991 at the National Flute Association’s convention in Washington, D.C. At his first convention, he sold his first two flutes and was commissioned to make Emanuel Flute #3 for Gian-Luca Petrucci of Rome. This led to an introduction to flutist Stefano Cioffi, President of the Italian Flute Academy, and an invitation to exhibit at the first annual International Flute Festival in Italy later that year. In Saluzzo, Italy, Emanuel presented his flute to international greats such as Maxence Larrieu, Giuseppe Nova, András Adorján, and Alain Marion. In a successful finish to the company’s first year, Emanuel Flute #4 was purchased by Maxence Larrieu.
Fourteen Years Later
Today, Emanuel Flutes are being made by Emanuel in his small workshop north of Boston. He makes all the parts himself, consults with each customer personally, and builds his instruments one at a time. Players come to him who understand the benefit of working directly with the maker, high-caliber soloists like Susan Milan. His flutes are played in orchestras world-wide, including the following: See Clients Page