Since Brannen Brothers was founded in 1978, they have earned a worldwide reputation for unsurpassed excellence and have become known as the company that leads the way in innovation and standards for the flutemaking industry. Every flute and headjoint bearing the Brannen Brothers name is handmade to exacting standards of craftsmanship, and each one displays the most advanced mechanical design and acoustic technology available.
Albert Cooper, the late British flutemaker, joined Brannen Brothers in 1978 as a partner and Vice President of Research. He held this position until 1990 and was then named vice-president emeritus until his death in 2011, and remains a legendary figure in the flute world. His designs and influence are still at the forefront of Brannen. Brannen's work with Albert Cooper led to three innovations at Brannen Brothers: the adoption of the Cooper Scale, which was first introduced in larger-scale production at Powell Flutes; the Brannen-Cooper headjoint design; and the Albert Cooper Orchestral Model flute.
Another pivotal collaboration was Brannen's work with Johann Brögger, which led to the Brögger Mekanik and the Brögger Acoustic. The collaboration with Mr. Brögger began in 1984 and the first Brannen flute with the Brögger Mekanik premiered in 1986. Mr. Brögger developed this new mechanism to correct the mechanical problems and binding issues found on the standard Boehm pinned flute. The Brögger Mekanik eliminates these problems through the use of non-rotating shafts and full-size back connectors for all mainline keys. As a result of this mechanism Brannen flutes are noticeably quieter, with reduced friction between and wear to the moving parts.
Brannen's collaboration with Johann Brögger resulted in another innovation - the Brögger Acoustic, a different way of shaping the inside of the toneholes. This technique produces a more consistent tone quality throughout the range of the flute, especially across the register break at middle C, C#, and D. Flutists find that this option creates a “freer blowing flute.”
Brannen's latest collaboration began in 2008 with Mr. J. Rainer Lafin of Lörrach, Germany. Brannen wanted to offer a headjoint style unlike the Brannen-Cooper headjoints, with different options in both color and response, and contracted Mr. Lafin to make his headjoints in the US. He spent significant time with Brannen in Woburn to train their headjoint makers to craft Lafin headjoints to his exacting professional standards, using the identical materials and components that he uses.