The Flute Specialist is an Australian business run by Dirk Zeylmans van Emmichoven. Dirk began learning saxophone at the age of 8, and started learning instrument repair in 1983. It would become a lifelong obsession. Dirk studied music at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam and the ANY School of Music in Canberra. After working for other instrument repairers, Dirk opened his first business, Tritone Brass and Woodwind, in 1994. Flutes became a major specialty in the repair shop. Dirk has since taken a number of study trips to the USA. He was certified at Straubinger in Indianapolis, where he learned the craft of making instruments and instrument components, something that came very naturally after his long experience repairing instruments. Dirk also studied with Jonathon Landell at the Vermont Flute Guild, and with Harry van Ekert of Eloy flutes in Holland, both prominent flute makers at Powell Flutes of Boston (all the great flutemakers have worked at Powell). Dirk’s first full flute was made after he had made six headjoints. These study trips and subsequent long hours of flutemaking and many years of repairing flutes in his workshop (some 12,000 or more flute repairs, and counting), provided Dirk with a deep understanding of flutemaking and a unique set of skills that have made him one of the best known instrument repairers working in Australia.
The repair of flutes, the making of custom headjoints, and the sale of fine flutes has become the essence of the finest flute workshop in Canberra. This unique combination of making , repairing, and dealing in fine flutes is what sets Dirk’s business apart from all the other flute businesses in Australia.