Building a Tradition, One Customer at a Time

The Emanuel Flute, introduced in 1991, is known to top flutists as an instrument that both delights and challenges. With carefully studied, faithfully rendered design, and consistently precise construction, Emanuel’s instruments allow the professional player to explore the full dynamic and expressive range of the flute. The Emanuel Flute’s colorful sound projects well in demanding orchestral settings, and blends its singing tone in ensemble playing of all types. That’s the simple claim that was made in 1991, and it remains true today.

What Makes These Flutes So Special?

With Emanuel, you won’t have glossy advertising spreads or paid endorsements to help you define a “niche” for these exquisite instruments. But Emanuel Flutes are different, and you may have to do a little research to understand why. Emanuel Arista builds flutes like no other instrument-maker in the United States today. Flutes are commissioned by, and built for, an individual. When you pick up the phone to call the workshop, you’ll speak directly with the flute-maker. He will listen to your concerns and will build the flute you need, to your specifications. Emanuel doesn’t assemble flute components brought in from unnamed manufacturers and doesn’t dilute his time or energy with outsourcing. Flute parts are designed and produced in Emanuel’s home-based workshop. The hand-fitted mechanism of the Emanuel Flute is so tight, so precise, that your flute should play for 100 years; and at that advanced age, if pitch or musical tastes have changed, its shapely keywork will still recommend it as a collector’s prize.
Then, of course, there’s the sound. You can’t separate the way a flute sounds -- to you, to your audience, as you change and grow over time, and in a variety of settings -- from the way it’s made. Every silver-soldered joint, every oiled pivot, contributes to an acoustic and aesthetic whole that results in a round, warm tone, full with harmonics. The Emanuel Flute has a complex sound that adapts and evolves with your own artistry, stretching you, rewarding your effort. There’s a little magic going on here. Well, maybe not. But the fact is, no one can explain why, in the hands of their owners, these flutes grow more responsive and resonant as time passes.


Who Should Play An Emanuel Flute?

Anyone who loves working with its sound. Anyone who values fine craftsmanship in traditional form. Flutists who want personal service from the flute-maker. Artists who want to play an instrument made by an artist, and who are willing to try a flute that is less commercially visible than the mass-produced, high-volume brands on the market today.
A self-taught flute-maker, Emanuel has been building instruments for 30 years. Read his biography to learn more. Today’s Emanuel Flutes and headjoints are the product of his singular commitment to the art and craft of flute-making. They’re slow art for a fast world.


EMANUEL FLUTES & HEAD JOINTS: Slow Art for a Fast World

In a global culture of homogenized arts marketing, in an industry where companies have access to technical sophistication of all kinds, the workshop of Emanuel Flutes is an icon of traditional craft. Before the day comes, and it will, when it’s impossible to remember what comprises a concert flute of the highest quality, Emanuel’s instruments help us remember.

A professional flutist needs a flute that performs on cue and on tour, for months at a time. One that’s reliable throughout a season of frequent travel and weekly, if not daily, performances. Emanuel Flutes have proven their reliability, and are played around the world by busy professionals, musicians whose demanding schedules leave no room for imperfect craftsmanship.

Emanuel’s hand-made instruments are built of materials that through the decades will sustain their beauty, strength, and precision -- and that enhance the character of the Emanuel Flute sound. Tubes are made of alloys of silver and gold that have been tried and tested. Keywork is sterling silver or 14-karat gold, silver-soldered throughout (no lead solder.) Stainless steel rods. Traditional pads made of pressed felt and bladder skin; they just sound better on this flute made with these tolerances. And so on. Each material choice is made consciously, because it works in the hands of the flutemaker, to create the distinctive Emanuel sound.

Over a period of years, Emanuel purchased, adapted, and assembled the equipment used in his shop. The graceful forms of ribs, posts, tone holes, cups, and embouchure plates -- to name a few of the 200 or so parts of a flute – he shaped into hardened steel cutting tools, punches and dies. He created master designs for his keywork in wax -- then in brass – and produced dozens of rubber molds for use in the lost wax process of casting. Using hand, eye, and machine in creatively-applied, traditional flute-making techniques, Emanuel builds the flute that bears his name to precise, repeatable standards. Click here to read a bio of the flutemaker.

Flutes are available with your choice of modern scales designed by William Bennett or Albert Cooper, and reproduced in collaboration with William Bennett and Susan Milan, respectively. Emanuel head joints are integral acoustic partners to these scales, and the flutemaker will recommend a head joint style to complement the flute body.

You can try flutes at the workshop and at the US National Flute Association’s annual convention in August. Call the workshop for up-to-date news on where Emanuel Flutes and head joints are being exhibited.