The Kingma Flutes Company originated in Holland in the early 1950's, shortly after World War II. At that time there was a great shortage of wind instruments and Dirk Kuiper, who was the second flutist in the Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, founded his small company to meet the demand for new flutes. For over 20 years Kuiper was known for his wooden, silver and gold C-flutes. He also built alto flutes, which at that time were unusual. In 1975 Eva Kingma joined Dirk Kuiper in building flutes. In 1981 Eva Kingma took over the company. On February 12th 2006 Dirk Kuiper died at the age of 92 years after a fruitful life. Since 1988, the company is located in the picturesque rural village of Grolloo in the north of the Netherlands.
When did you start playing the flute?
I started to play the recorder when I was 9, but always had great interest in the ‘real’ flute. My father was a sculptor and my mother was a pianist and singer. There was always music and tools in the house.
Who was your inspiration to start making flutes?
My uncle Dirk Kuiper was a flutist in the Concertgebouw Orchestra.He started making flutes during the war for his students at the Conservatory in A’dam. My father changed one of his sculptors into a flute for me.I played several years,but got more interested in the technical part. I started to take my flute apart many times and finally killed it. I called my uncle for a repair,but he was pessimistic about his health and asked me to do it myself in his shop with his help. I was there the next day (Oct. 8, 1975). I never left. From Day One, until today, this is my life.
Who were your mentors?
My teachers were my uncle Dirk Kuiper, Albert Cooper and still until today Bickford Brannen.
The first years we made Kuiperflutes. Then for several years Kuiper/Kingma flutes and after I moved my shop to the North of Holland in ‘89 I started under my own name.
Beginning in ‘90 I started a collaboration with Bickford Brannen on the Kingma System. That resulted into the so-called Brannen & Kingma C flute. After making C flutes for 18 years I decided to only specialize in alto flutes,later on contrabassesand subcontras.10 years ago Bickford and I started the Kingma&Brannen altos and basses. I worked closely with Robert Dick, and now over the last 25 years very intensely with the Swiss player, Matthias Ziegler. Together with him I develop new flutes for him.
Where might we find you?
You can find us at several international flute conventions. In my shop I work together with the silversmith David Kerkhof for 16 years. I will be at most of the European flute conventions and every year at the NFA convention.
Suggestion for flutists?
Don’t be afraid to take risks. Be open for new repertoire, new composers and....new flutes! There are so many more possibilities these days, of course with respect to the classical repertoire.
2. scuba diving