Celebrating his 60th year as a flutemaker, Albert Cooper began his career as an apprentice with Rudall-Carte in 1938 and established his own business in 1959. [“I started working at the age of 14 years in at the flutemaking firm of Rudall Carte in London. From 1959 onwards I produced about 95 flutes and many headjoints everything in silver (no wood). Included in the instruments I made were piccolos, alto and bass flutes, all of which were of my own design and scales.”]
In 1974, Cooper’s pioneering work with flute scales was incorporated into the production of the Powell flute. Within a very short time, the vast majority of flutemakers throughout the world utilized his concepts. The “Cooper-Scale,” or derivatives thereof, have become standard in modern flute design. [“In the late 1970s, I ceased making flutes and concentrated my efforts on re-tuning old flutes – keywork repairs and adding extra mechanisms. When re-tuning old flutes I always give them a new body tube and alter the keywork to suit the new scale (usually A442). I have found this experience very valuable in understanding how tuning works and what size and position of tone holes is best for sound quality, attack and tuning.”]
In 1978, Cooper joined Brannen Brothers Flutemakers as a partner and Vice President of Research, a collaboration that continues. His headjoint designs are among the most popular and his continual ingenuity in the areas of restoration and flute design have been an enormous resource for flutists and flutemakers alike. Mr. Cooper plans to retire in 1999.
–information courtesy Albert Cooper and Brannen Brothers Flutemakers, Inc.