Born in Lima Peru, Emanuel developed an interest in manual arts, music, and fine craftsmanship during his high-school years in that city. His first foray into the world of flutes was a business he entered into with his father, Miguel Arista, Sr. at the request of the family’s older brother, Miguel Arista, Jr., who was working on the production line at Haynes Flute Company in Boston at the time. They built a prototype flute case with indigenous materials and soon began production of French-style flute cases in Peru, the majority of which were sold to Boston-based flute companies.
Three years after the introduction of the Arista family’s flute cases to the market, Emanuel immigrated to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to manufacture the cases locally. Upon his arrival, Miguel presented Emanuel with a collection of piccolo parts and asked him to analyze the possibility of building an instrument with the Arista brand. Within a few months, and without any formal machinist training, Emanuel had created a set of tools that led to the introduction of the Arista Piccolo in August, 1976. With that success, Emanuel enrolled at the Wentworth Institute of Technology to study machine operation and tool-making. His interest in building a set of flute-maker’s tools was so great that he convinced his instructors to allow the project to take precedence over regular class assignments.
In 1978, the first Arista Flute was shown at the National Flute Association Convention, and in 1985 Emanuel left Arista Flutes and transferred his skills to the making of precision components and instruments for the communications industry. Encouraged by mentors Emerson DeFord, Jack Moore, Edward Almeida and Dick Jerome, he introduced Emanuel Flute #1 in 1991. Today, Emanuel Flutes are being made by Emanuel in his small workshop north of Boston. He makes all the parts himself, consults with each customer personally, and builds his instruments one at a time.