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Inspiration and Innovation

For almost 40 years, Altus has hand-crafted flutes
that embody the ideals of vintage inspiration and modern technology.
Created by Master Flute Maker Shuichi Tanaka, each Altus flute reflects
his passion to combine the finest playing flutes with the premium materials and artistry.
The meticulous design of the Altus flute and its acclaimed Altus scale™
offers excellent intonation, carefully tuned harmonics and balanced registers.
The masterfully hand-sculpted headjoints and precision tubings produce
the remarkable sound of the Altus flute.

Azumi flutes are also designed by Shuichi Tanaka
and are a perfect fit for the serious student and aspiring artist.

Brand history

  • The founder of Altus flutes Mr. Shuichi Tanaka is a modern example of Renaissance man. He is an artist, musician, engineer, businessman, and most notably a master flute maker. As a teenager, Mr. Tanaka studied flute with renowned Japanese teacher and performer Toshio Takahashi. During this time he not only became a gifted flutist, but also a sensitive student of flute making with keen insight into the needs of flutists. Each Altus flute reflects his passion to produce the finest playing flutes available utilizing the finest of materials handwork and artistry.

  • In 1977, Mr. Tanaka met British flutist William Bennett. Their shared interests in music, culture and flute making developed into a friendship and close collaboration. This partnership led to the development of the ALTUS scales, an integral part of these extraordinary instruments.

  • In 1981, Mr. Shuichi Tanaka was hired as a flute consultant by K.H.S. to create Taiwan's first hand-made flute facility. Derived from the Latin word “Altus” which means high, deep, and noble, Altus was established to design and produce the world-class hand-made flutes tailored for the experienced musicians.

  • The Altus factory nestled among the serene mountains of Azumino Japan, has incorporated both ideas of classical aesthetic and modern science into their handcrafted flute designs.

  • In 1997, Altus attended the National Flute Association (NFA).

  • Altus Standard 1007 series was released.

  • With the entire tube made with Sterling silver, 1007 not only offers a classic sound but also begins the journey to the exploration of easy, comfortable, and balanced playing experience.

  • The Altus Type-S headjoint and 958 Britannia Silver were developed and introduced to the market.

  • Altus introduced the world’s first flute made of 958 Britannia Silver: Altus Standard 1107 series.

  • With the entire tube made with the higher purity 958 silver, 1107 offers a profound resonance that gives rise to a different charisma with the Altus’s balanced tone palette.

  • Altus Handmade 1207 series was released.

  • A classic model, 1207 is a standard flute adopting sterling silver which produces a resonant sound with balanced tonal palette that all Altus models are equipped with.

  • Altus Handmade 1307 series was released.

  • The 1307 model adopts Britannia silver which features pure ringing sound with more depth. This model comes with two other options for tubing: medium-heavy and heavy wall, which provides flexibility for flutists with a desire for personal characteristics.

  • Altus Handmade 1407 series was released.

  • A flute with classic and time-honored existence. With sterling silver, 1407 enables flutists to make a wide and generous sound.

  • Altus Handmade 1507 series was released.

  • Adopting a higher purity precious metal, Britannia silver (Ag958), the Altus 1507 enables the flutists to voice with more depth and produce vast tone colors.

  • Altus Handmade PS series was introduced.

  • The PS model is created with our exclusive high purity silver (Ag997), and the innovated sintered tubing technology. It is an exemplification of the utmost brilliance which not only the flutist can feel the vibration of the instrument, but the audience also becomes captivated by its tonal beauty. The PS model is endorsed by the world famous flutists: Denis Bouriakov and Alena Walentin.

  • Altus Handmade AL series was introduced.

  • AL is an exclusive model made with our special alloy – Altus Silver (Ag946) with seamed tubing technology. It has a unique sound with full tonal color spectrum and unparalleled centered projection-the perfect marriage of vintage French flute tradition and modern seamed tubing technology. The Altus Handmade AL flute is used by world-leading flutists like William Bennett, Lorna McGhee, and Michael Cox.

  • Altus Handmade PSD series was introduced.

  • The model was endorsed by the renowned flutist Zoya Viazovskaya.

  • Altus Handmade 1607 series was introduced.

  • In addition to Britannia silver (Ag958), 1607 adopts the seamed tubing method on the head joint and body tube. It also has a full tonal color which creates a vintage-like sound. With stable and continuous vibration, it enables the flutist to express lasting emotions. The Altus Handmade 1607 is endorsed by the flutist Robert Aitken.

  • In August 2002, Azumi entered the market and began to export its products to Germany.

  • Azumi Z1, Z2, and Z3 series were introduced.

  • The tonal character of this series is supported by the use of 925 Sterling silver for lip-plate and riser. The most distinctive feature of these Azumi flutes is the Altus Z-cut Handmade headjoint which responds quickly and easily and produces a full and rich tone in all three registers.

  • Altus Type-VA Headjoint was created.

  • Azumi S2 and S3 series were introduced.

  • The Azumi S series are easily recognizable by the oval shape of the embouchure hole, the S-Cut. Made of 958 Britannia silver, the embouchure plate enables its user to produce a powerful sound with great resonance and a rich overtones. This allows the musician a very expressive performance.

  • Altus 40th Anniversary.