Shuichi Tanaka, founder of ALTUS, is one of today’s most amazing flute makers emerging from the Japanese flute manufacturing tradition. As a gifted flautist, Tanaka has developed from early on –during his flute studies with Toshio Takahashi – a genuine interest in the sound qualities and technical aspects of his instrument As a flautist, the construction of the head joint became his first fascination. Thoroughly, he investigated all the factors influencing the sound of the instrument, since every cut, file stroke and material combination provoques a change of sound.
After having spent five years of training in manufacturing flutes at the Muramatsu company , followed by work in senior positions with Miyazawa and Takumi, he finally created his „own flute“ in 1981, working patiently after hours in focused isolation. His extensive experience as a flute maker and and his enthusiasm for the European flute manufacturing tradition (Böhm, Lot, Hammig etc.) merged in the development of the ALTUS flute. Tanaka‘s affable collaboration and friendship with the London virtuoso William Bennett led to the invention of the „Bennett-Scale“ giving ALTUS flutes their characteristic precise intonation.
The first ALTUS flutes were built in Tanaka’s small workshop in Taiwan, which he regularly visited as an adviser to the K.H.S. Music company. Before long, ALTUS flutes have gained enormous international recognition, and the increased demand enabled Tanaka to return to Japan creating his dream of his own workshop in the midst of the Japanese Alps in Azumino, near Matsumoto in 1990. Ever since then, the ALTUS flute manufacturing team has provided flautists all over the world with flutes, that represent technically perfect masterpieces which allow for the maximum possible musical expression.
ALTUS flutes are designed as works of art. Shuichi Tanaka – a gifted flautist himself – considers his instruments to be tools for greatest musical expression. All ALTUS flutes are characterized by their own personality and every ALTUS head joint is meticulously manufactured and precisely fit to match each flute‘s personal character. Tanaka emphasises time and again, that it was always his particular concern to manufacture special flutes „with soul“, which reflect the musician’s personality.
The musicians who opt for an ALTUS flute are people with a particular personality and great emotional expressiveness. And this is why Shuichi Tanaka regards “his” musicians as part of his family who enable his work to speak and who share his views on a life devoted to music.