Everyone has the career that he was able to do because he was helped or not at the beginning and during his life, because he made or not the right or wrong choices because he was lucky or not, because he lived in a particular moment of History and so on, but nothing is really predictable.
The central part of my life went on with urgent commitments such as teaching, my parents’ illnesses, my own illnesses, and everyday commitments. For decades I didn’t know how to get someone to help me (people didn’t reply to letters, they were in perennial meetings and could not reply to phone calls…) and so I didn’t have concerts and I was amazed at the speed of the passage of Time, year after year. After the first 2 CDs, around 2002, I was already 48 and had sent more than 100 CDs to various orchestras but only 5 or 6 replied and it all ended there. The strange thing is that a lot of students came to ask me for letters of introduction to study in other conservatories or universities, letters for small concerts, or I spoke well of one person to another and all their enterprises were successful, while I could not succeed in doing hardly anything for myself. I had made a very risky decision, though. Since 1988 I had decided to write only for orchestra and even if I would have never had performances again, I had decided I would write for the drawer. The only person who had written letters of presentation for me to go to Tanglewood in 1983 and the MacDowell Colony in 1988 to 1990 was Niccolò Castiglioni and he had died early in 1996. Hans Keller had died in 1985. If Niccolò had not entered the class of Azio Corghi one day to ask him if he knew a person who could translate the damned difficult poems of Emily Dickinson that he was to set in music for a concert at the Teatro della Fenice in Venice, I would never have known him and I would have gone to the United States only in 1982 to collect the 1st prize of the Washington International Competition for Composition for my “Belsize” string quartet, and maybe never again. That was a stroke of luck. I heard about the existence of this competition from a classmate who wanted to try it … and then I won it. All the works were performed in anonymity but the Founder of the prize was quite disappointed that I was a woman. Without this prize, I wouldn’t even have had a decent resumé. They always say that one thing leads to another, but that’s not always the case.
Back in 1998, I had contacted the Naxos office in London. I proposed 6 pieces for orchestra for one CD. It was very difficult to convince them and after two years I had reached 11 works for two CDS. There had been a couple of conductors who were interested, but they had always kept everything in suspense, and there was the difficulty of finding a suitable orchestra. I was lucky that my husband taught Orchestral Conducting so his pupils found the orchestras and proposed my works. In 2001 the first two CDs were made, also because Naxos opened a new section called XXIst Century Composers and I was among the first 6 composers. It was a stroke of luck to arrive at the right time. In 2002 it seemed to me that with already two CDs I had a lot of works recorded and that I could find myself in a certain position to be noticed and helped, but performances came at random:
2004 Gera/Altenburg Philharmonic – Adagio
2006 Gera/Altenburg Philharmonic – Requiescat
2010 Aachener Kammerorchester – Adagio
2011 I Solisti Veneti – Simply Largo
2013 Des Moines Orchestra – Suite Grotesque
In 2015 the third CD was released. Again, I wrote and sent many letters and CDs, someone replied but no one ever played my music. The strange thing is that I never contacted any of the orchestras listed here above or below except for the BBC Symphony Orchestra.
2015 – Toledo Symphony – Suite Grotesque
2016 Earlham College Orchestra – Messidor
2016 Toledo Symphony – Fables
2018 Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra – Wedding Song
Since 2015 I have not written to anyone if they do not contact me. The fourth CD released in December 2020 had a lot of unexpected positive if not excellent reviews. The concerts that have occurred are:
2020 BBC Symphony Orchestra – Firelights
2021 Swedish Chamber Orchestra – Suite Grotesque
2022 Williamette Valley Symphony, Oregon City – Merlin
2022 Atlanta Symphony – Adagio
CDs travel all over the world and someone by chance listens to a piece of mine, but there are no connections between one and the other and everything happens by chance.