“Feminine Fusion” is a weekly radio program that highlights the influence of women in classical music. These are the women throughout history and into the present day who create, perform, and inspire. Composer/announcer Diane Jones of WCNY-FM in Syracuse, NY is your host, and every week showcases some of these remarkable women.
Women are the central, unifying focus of this series. It is important to note, however, that their influence is broad-ranging, crossing the boundaries of culture, race, and gender. Who can know what might have happened to the likes of Aaron Copland, Donald Byrd, or Quincy Jones had they not studied with Nadia Boulanger?
“Had you asked me 10 years ago if I would have introduced a program focused on women in music, I would have said ‘no.’ Growing up in a houseful of brothers, I was always treated as their equal,” says Jones. “But there is still gender bias in the music world. I am anxious for the time when we no longer separate composers from women composers, or conductors from women conductors.“
Some of the individuals highlighted in this program entered the world of the arts knowing they faced opposition, and gathered their strength to face it head on. Others simply took to their chosen path, often unaware of the impact their actions would have. In every case, however, they have touched hearts and souls with their art.
Diane Jones is the host of Feminine Fusion, aired every week on WCNY-FM. An active composer, she has received commissions from nationally and internationally-recognized musicians and ensembles, as well as completing 5 residencies in Syracuse area schools, introducing young musicians to composition. Diane performs regularly with Samba Laranja and the Central New York Flute Choir, and her music has been featured on two SAMMY-award winning CDs. Follow Diane on Twitter (@ComposerJones) and Facebook (here or here) for more about her programming and her music.
|Air Date||Program Title||Description|
|Feb. 22 - 23||Sing! Part 2||Women’s voices raised in song|
|Feb. 29 - March 1||Looking Back||Music by women from Medieval, Renaissance, and the Baroque|
|March 7 - 8||At the Keyboard, Part 3||Women pianists have left the parlor and made their mark on the concert stage. This week, performances from these talented musicians|
|March 14 - 15||Four by Four, Part 2||Performances from all-female quartets|
|March 21 - 22||Seasonal Music: Spring||Honor the equinox and the arrival of Spring with works for the season, written and performed by women|
|March 28 - 29||Patchwork Quilt, Part XIX||Another block is added to our patchwork quilt|
February 15, 2020
“Music has to be human, and people have to like it; it has to move them spiritually and intellectually.” – Margaret Bonds Composer Margaret Bonds was an influential African American woman in the music world – and you probably don’t know her name. On this episode, we look at the life and music of this talented Chicago native. “One Life – Margaret Bonds” Minstrel Man and Dream Variation, from Three Dream Portraits Text by Langston Hughes Icy Rene Simpson, soprano Artina McCain, piano “I, too” Longhorn Music Troubled Water Althea Waite, piano “Black Diamonds” Cambria 1097 Songs of the Seasons Texts by Langston Hughes Louise Toppin, soprano John B. O’Brien, piano “Ah! Love But a Day” Albany 385 The Ballad of the Brown King Texts by Langston Hughes Dessoff Choirs Dessoff Orchestra Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor “The Ballad of the Brown King & Selected Songs” Avie 2413 The […] Read More
February 8, 2020
“Music can connect people in ways beyond notes on a page.” – Christina Rusnak The four elements – earth, air, fire, and water – were viewed by the ancient Greeks as the foundation upon which all of nature and indeed, the world, could be explained. The music on this episode may not explain the world, but they were inspired by these four elemental building blocks. “Elemental Music, Part 2” Manuel de Falla: Danza Ritual del Fuego, from “El Amor Brujo” Yu Kosuge, piano “Four Elements, Vol. 2 – Fire” Orchid Classics 100108 Luna Pearl Woolf: Aprés Moi, le Déluge Matt Haimovitz, cello Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Julian Wachner, conductor “Fire and Flood” Pentatone 5186803 Christina Rusnak: Glacier Blue Ovidiu Marinescu, cello “Moto Celeste” Navona 6266 Shulamit Ran: East Wind Patricia Spencer, flute “Music by Shulamit Ran” Bridge 9052 Cindy Cox: Sparkling, from Geode Earplay Ensemble “Columba aspexit” CRI 886 Mary Lee […] Read More
February 1, 2020
“Nationality, gender, accent…everything disappears when you just close your eyes and listen.” – Simone Menezes Being a successful leader demands respect. Challenging enough on its own, and often more difficult when you add both gender and racial bias into the equations. This episode features women of color who have taken up the conductor’s baton. “Women of Color: Leaders” Juventino Rosas: Sobre las Olas Alondra de la Parra, conductor Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas “Me Alma Mexicana/My Mexican Soul” Sony 75555 Detlev Glanert: Frenesia Xian Zhang, conductor Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra “Horizon 6” RCA 15001 Adriana Holszky: Floten des Lichts Kay George Roberts, conductor Commonwealth Winds; Renata Brosch, soprano “Message: Five Vocal Works” CPS 999290-2 George Walker: Lyric for Strings Jeri Lynne Johnson, conductor Black Pearl Orchestra Live Performance, used with permission Ellis Marsalis: Fourth Autumn Jeri Lynne Johnson, conductor Black Pearl Orchestra; Rodney Mack, trumpet Live Performance, used with permission Luduino Pitombeira: Tango Simone Menezes, conductor […] Read More
January 25, 2020
“Practice hard, stay yourself, ask yourself why you make music and embrace challenges with a smile.” – Annelien Van Wauwe The winter winds are blowing cold outside, but inside the winds are warm and wonderful. This week, some of the best women woodwind players recording today. Single reeds, double reeds, and flutes – all of them make an appearance on this episode. “Winter Winds” David Gordon: Bebop Tango Alison Teale, Cor Anglais Elizabeth Burley, piano “Cor!” Oboe Classics 2023 Francis Poulenc: Oboe Sonata, Op. 185 (excerpt) Katherine Needleman, oboe Jennifer Lim, piano “Duos for Oboe and Piano” Genuin 16407 Adrienne Albert: Swing Shift Christin Schillinger, bassoon Jed Moss, piano “Basoon Unbounded – 21st Century Music for Bassoon and Piano” MSR Classics 1653 Manfred Trojahn: Rhapsodie pour clarinette et orchestra (excerpt) Annelien Van Wauwe, clarinet Orchestra National de Lille; Alexandre Bloch, conductor “Belle époque” Pentatone 186808 Efrain Amaya: Pathways Sara […] Read More
January 18, 2020
“As a language without words, music communicates a commonality among people, linking mankind by means of shared understanding and experience.” – Evangeline Benedetti What a variety on this Patchwork Quilt episode! Traditional and brand new works, including some jazz crossover, electronics, and composers partnering with performers. “Patchwork Quilt, Part XVIII” Giuseppe Torelli, arr. by Craig Terry: Tu lo sai Joyce DiDonato, soprano Craig Terry, piano; Charlie Porter, trumpet; Jimmy Madison, drums; Chuck Israels, bass; Lautaro Greco, bandoneon “Songplay” Erato 019295534387 Hugo Godron: Suite Bucolique Sara Farker, oboe; Casey Robards, piano “Botanica” MSR Classics 1723 Philip Glass: Mad Rush Rea Beaumont, piano “Timeless” Shrinking Planet Productions 0093 Missy Mazzoli: Vespers for Violin Jennifer Koh, violin; Missy Mazzoli, electronics “Limitless” Cedille 9000 191 Franz Liszt: Die Macht der Musik Julia Kleiter, soprano; Julius Drake, piano “Liszt: The Complete Songs, Vol. 6” Hyperion 68235 Sergei Prokofiev: Sonata for cello and piano, Op. 119 (excerpt) Evangeline […] Read More
January 11, 2020
“Children become what they are told they are.” – Dorothy DeLay Teachers, and in particular music teachers, can have a profound and lasting influence on their students. This episode highlights students and the women who taught them. Whether teaching an instrument or composition, their impact is felt in every performance. “Influential Women: Teachers, Part 2” Kelly-Marie Murphy: Huron Carol Interlude Angèle Dubeau, violin La Pieta “Noël” Analekta 8730 Arvo Pärt: Spiegel im Spiegel Anne Akiko Meyers, violin Akira Eguchi, piano “Mirror in Mirror” Avie 2386 George Gershwin: Bess, You Is My Woman Now (from Porgy & Bess) Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg, violin New Century Chamber Orchestra “Together” NSS Music 00081 Henri Vieuxtemps: Concerto No. 4 (excerpt) Hilary Hahn, violin Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen; Paavo Järvi, conductor “Retrospective” Deutsche Grammophon 479 8295 Leonard Bernstein: For Helen Coates (from Four Anniversaries) Michele Tozzetti, piano “Leonard Bernstein: Complete Solo Piano Music” Piano Classics 10174 Igor Stravinsky: Piano Sonata (1924) Earl Wild, piano […] Read More
January 4, 2020
“And tears are heard within the harp I touch.” – Petrarch This week, we focus on the Plucked family of instruments – guitar, harp, and harpsichord. Plus a few more intriguing medieval plucked instruments thrown in for good measure. It’s quite a mix of music! “Plucked, Part 2” Radames Gnattali: Suite Retratos: II – Ernesto Nazareth (Valse) Beijing Guitar Duo ‘Maracaípe – Guitar Duos and Solos by Gnattali & Assad” Tonar Music 91201 John Dowland: Lacrime pavane & A Fancy Mari Mäntylä, decacorde “Decacorde” Alba 261 John Duarte: Appalachian Dreams Sharon Isbin, guitar “Dreams of a World” Teldec 25736 Anonymous: De schriuer van der nigen stat & Mit ganczem willen wünsch ich dir (from Rostocker Liederbuch) Vader myn, ik en wil nicht mer tor scole gan – Tenor – Ligge stille, ligge stille (fromRostocker Liederbuch) Leah Stuttard, medieval harp Agnethe Christensen, kantele & gussli “Oluf Strangesøns Dyst/Joust – A Musical Scrapbook” Modern Roots 001 Yusef […] Read More
December 28, 2019
“Everything passes, but nothing entirely goes away.” – Jenny Diski We are at a tipping point, that moment when one year turns to the next. As we head into the next decade, we’ll take a trip through time, from Medieval days to modern. It’s music that is sacred and secular, including the latest Pulitzer Prize-winning work from Ellen Reid. We’ll also take note of what the future has in store. “Turning Time” Hildegard of Bingen: Kyrie Oxford Camerata; Jeremy Summerly, conductor “Heavenly Revelations” Naxos 550998 Caterina Assandra: Salve Regina Cappella Artemisia “Rosa Mistica” Tactus 600003 Caterina Assandra: In Dulcis Amor Jesu Cappella Artemisia “Rosa Mistica” Tactus 600003 Barbara Strozzi: L’eraclito Amoroso Heike Pichler- Trosits, soprano La Villanella Basel “O Dulcis Amor” Ramée 0401 Leonora Duarte: Sinfonia Nos. 1 & 7 Sonnambula; Elizabeth Weinfield, director “Leonora Duarte: The Complete Works” Centaur 3685 Anna Bon di Venezia: Flute Sonata No. 5 Hans-Joachin Fuss, flute; Nicolau de Figueriredo, […] Read More
December 21, 2019
“The color of springtime is flowers; the color of winter is in our imagination.” – Terri Guillimets We are heading toward the depths of winter here in the northern hemisphere. It is a season marked by long nights and short days, when we start bundling up against the cold, often looking inward as we reflect on the season. So grab some cocoa or a hot toddy, settle in by the fire, and take a listen to some winter music from medieval to modern times. “Winter Music” Judith Bingham: The Darkness Is No Darkness Voces8 “Winter” Decca 4830968 Johann Melchior Molter: Concerto Pastoral in G Major Angèle Dubeau, violin; La Pietà “Noël” Analekta 8730 Mira J. Spektor: Winter Lullaby Maeve Höglund soprano; Jean-Paul Björlin piano “Summer & Winter Songs” Navona 6236 Traditional: As I Lay On Yoolis Night Anonymous 4 “On Yoolis Night” Harmonia Mundi 907099 Conrad Susa: Carols and Lullabies: Christmas in the Southwest (excerpts) […] Read More
December 14, 2019
“I like to keep changing because discovery is always interesting.” – Ludovico Einaudi Yet another Patchwork Quilt episode for you this week, and it’s quite a variety of music. From a work inspired by the Nevada landscape, to another commemorating the founding of the city of Hanoi, it’s marvelous music written and performed by women. “Patchwork Quilt, Part XVII” Johann Adolph Hasse: Morte col fiero aspetto, from Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo-soprano Il Giardino Armonico; Giovanni Antonini, conductor “Farinelli” Decca 4850215 Jennifer Bellor: Cerulean Twilight Ying Zhang, violin; Andrew Smith, cello; Emily Montoya Barnes, harp; Luc Brust, vibraphone and wind chimes; Gabriela Ordoñez Villalobos, marimba and wind chimes; Tim Jones, percussion; Geoff Neuman, double bass “Reflections at Dusk” Innova 045 Jennifer Fowler: Lament Lontano; Odaline de la Martinez, conductor “Lines Spun” Métier 28588 Agathe Backer Grøndahl: Piano Suite, Op. 20 Charlotte Mueller, piano “Woman’s Work: Music for Solo Piano” MSR Classics 1160 […] Read More