Today’s author interview is with Stuart Hamilton, who is the author of the new release Opening Windows. Stuart Hamilton, a well-known Canadian musician, has been in the forefront of music in Canada for more than 60 years. Along the way, he has encountered, as a vocal coach and accompanist, most of the great Canadian singers of the last half of the 20th century and some international ones, as well.
Caitlyn: How did you come up with the idea for this work?
Stuart: In writing Opening Windows, I yielded to incessant pressure from my nagging friends to write down the events of my life.
Caitlyn: How did you come up with the title?
Stuart: The title was suggested to me by a quotation from my piano teacher, Alberto Guerrero when he said “If I’m proud of anything in my life, it’s that I was able to open a few windows on the the world of music to my pupils. ”
Caitlyn: What was the creative process like for you?
Stuart: The creative process was relatively easy for me as I’ve always had a big mouth and writing the book was simply a question of getting my stories down on paper.
Caitlyn: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received as a writer?
Staurt: When I finished the first draft of my book, I sent it to a friend who was at that time, an editor on the New Yorker magazine. She wrote me a beautiful letter praising the book but suggesting that I put it away for six months and then re-write it. As it happened I was extremely busy at that time and it was several years before I got around to looking at it again. When I did, I was appalled at how terrible it was and I completely re-wrote it. I’m so glad that I didn’t try to get that first draft published. If it had been, I would have had to move to Patagonia.
Caitlyn: What are you reading right now?
Stuart: Right now, I’m reading the complete works of Oscar Wilde.
Stuart Hamilton has been one of Canada’s premier vocal coaches for 65 years. He is founder and artistic director emeritus of Opera in Concert and was the first artistic director of the Canadian Opera Company ensemble. Hamilton gives master classes in vocal interpretation across Canada and lectures around North America. He lives in Toronto.