Edward Almeida Serial # 160; Boston; 1972; solid
gold springs, B footjoint; w/Albert
Cooper headjoint; London; 1975; silver; & Verne Q.
C footjoint; sl 600mm/635mm; 400g/435g (C/B-footjoint); .0125"h .013"b
When it came time for Verne Q. Powell to
the reins and retire, he remembered when he had been Wm. S. Haynes'
shop foreman and was turned down when he tried to buy into the
In the early 1960's Powell sold his firm to four of his employees,
them his own protégé, Edward Almeida.
Wanting greater control over production,
years later Almeida set up his own shop and, assisted by his son Geoff,
began making a very limited number of flutes exemplifying the quality
craftsmanship of the older Powell flutes. Edward's passing in the
early 1990's has retired this name from the list of fine flutes still
flute was purchased from Israel
Borouchoff who was born and trained in Bulgaria, immigrated to
Israel in 1949, came to study at the Julliard School of Music in the
United States in 1955, went on to play solo
flute with the St. Louis Symphony and the Chamber Symphony of
Philadelphia, and eventually retired to Colorado as
Professor Emeritus from Michigan State University. He
this flute from Edward Almeida in 1972. He said of Almeida, "I
admired his meticulous attitude and modesty." Unlike many premier
flute makers, "He was the first one to admit that his headjoints could
stand improvement, and was open to ideas in his own sweet and humble
Of course many a flute player found the traditional headjoint cut Ed
from Verne quite good enough.
While in London in 1975 Israel visited the
of another legendary flutemaker, Albert K. Cooper, tried a dozen or so
headjoints with the flute, and chose the one he liked best.
overcut (just look at the top right photo), the headjoint and flute
produces a huge, resonant, centered sound with so little resistance you
feel as though you could make trouser legs flap on the front row if
lungs were just a little bigger. The original headjoint, alas,
went to a student and has since been sold into oblivion.
Like the sound, even the holes in the
keys feel larger than normal, but this may be an illusion brought on by
feeling the air vibrations with the fingertips or due to the shape of
surrounding key mechanism and its smooth, light action.
My gratitude to Morbiim for passing along his Almeida
headjoint to me! The match to this body is excellent and, thanks
to the conservative Boston cut, the flute finally speaks with the
appropriate accent. (Heah in the deep South we have little use
foah the lettah "Ah" aftah a vowel, eithah.)