Feminine Fusion

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“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.

Contact Diane Jones

Feminine Fusion

Diane Jones

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
Sept. 14 - 20 One Life: Joan Tower A look at the life and music of Joan Tower
Sept. 21 - 27 Friends In honor of International Friendship Month, let's hear from these friends
Sept. 28 - Oct. 4 Women Walking in Their Own Shoes Groundbreaking women who followed their own path
Oct. 5 - 11 Telling Tales National Storytelling Weekend was Oct. 4th. This is music that tells stories.
  • S4-07: Strung Along

    October 19, 2019

    “There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.”  – Pythagoras This week we hear performances from soloists and string ensembles.  You’ll recognize some of the names, but you’ll also hear a debut release, and the world premiere recording of a work merging classical and folk roots.   “Strung Along”   John Williams:  The Duel, from “The Adventures of Tintin” Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin The Recording Arts Orchestra of Los Angeles; John Williams, conductor “Across the Stars” Deutsche Grammophon 4837068 Dmitri Shostakovich:  Andante, from Trio Op. 8, No. 1 Claremont Trio “Claremont Trio: Shostakovich & Arensky Trios” Tria Records 3860 Felix Mendelssohn:  Finale, from String Quartet in E minor, Op. 44, No. 2 Cecilia String Quartet “Cecilia String Quartet:  Mendelssohn Op. 44 Nos. 1, 2” Analekta 2 9844 George Gershwin (arr. by Alex Brown):  Violin Piece Haerim Elizabeth Lee, violin Alex Brown, piano […] Read More


  • S4-06: Patchwork Quilt, Part XVI

    October 12, 2019

    “We are all patchwork, and so shapeless and diverse in composition that each bit, each moment, plays its own game.”  – Michel de Montaigne Every couple of months I bring you a Patchwork Quilt episode.  This is music and performances by women with no special theme tying the works together – just beautiful music.   “Patchwork Quilt, Part XVI” Theodora Cormontan:  The Evening Sentiments Bonnie Jorgensen, piano “The Music of Theodora Cormontan” Independent Label Benjamin Godard:  Berceuse de Jocelyn Debra Wendells Cross, flute; Barbara Chapman, harp “Dream Sweet Dreams” Independent Label Louise Reichardt:  Sei Canzonie de Metastasio Amy Pfrimmer, soprano; Dreux Montegut, piano “The Lost Romantic: Songs of Louise Reichardt” MSR Classics 1687 Frederic Chopin:  Etude Op. 10, No. 12 “Revolutionary Etude” Umi Garrett, piano “Storybook” Independent Label Arcangelo Corelli:  Sonata No. 8 in D minor, Op. 5 Ofra Harnoy, cello “Back to Bach” Analekta 2 8907 Joseph Harchanko:  Breath Andrea […] Read More


  • October 5 – 11, 2019: Telling Tales

    October 5, 2019

    “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words, and that which cannot remain silent.”  – Victor Hugo There’s something special about sitting around the table telling stories.  This week features works that tell tales.  Some are told without words, others are sung or even spoken with music.  From folk tales to statements on the modern world, these women are telling their stories through their music.  Let’s all sit around the table together to listen.   “Telling Tales” Patricia Morehead:  Night, from The Handmaid’s Tale Abraham Stokman & Phillip Morehead, pianos “Good News Falls Gently” Navona 5854 Mona Lyn Reese:  The Mitten Mona Lyn Reese, narrator Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Petr Vronsky, conductor “The Mitten” Navona 6132 Amy Cheney Beach:  Eskimos Charlotte Mueller, piano “Woman’s Work” MSR Classics 1160 Arlene Zallman:  East, West of the Sun Wellesley College Chamber Singers & Instrumental Ensemble Brian Hulse, conductor Bess Conners, soprano; Kathy Boyd, flute “Arlene Zallman: Sei […] Read More


  • Sept 18 – Oct 4, 2019: Walking in Her Own Shoes

    September 28, 2019

    “Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.”  – Iris Murdoch It’s tough to be a groundbreaker.  To be the first to achieve something.  It means you’ve had to walk your own path, without the benefit of drawing on the experience of others.  The first woman to conduct an orchestra, the first woman to win a prize or a fellowship.  What is fascinating is not so much what they achieved, but how they did it.  For some, they pushed and fought, demanding their due.  For others, it is just a by-product of being focused on their art – and being good at what they do.  Today we’re going to hear music from several women who were “the first.”   “Walking in Her Own Shoes”   Louise Farrenc:  Etude Margot Dilmaghani, piano “Celebration!” Independent Label Elisabeth Jacquet de La Guerre:  Céphale et Procris, ballet music Francis Conover Fitch & Peter […] Read More


  • September 12 – 27, 2019: Friends

    September 21, 2019

    “My best friend is the one who brings out the best in me.”  Henry Ford   Amazing things can arise from a friendship.  On this episode, women whose friendships have nurtured some outstanding music.   “Friends” Jules Massenet:  Manon, Act 2 (excerpt) Beverly Sills, Soprano New Philharmonia Orchestra; Julius Rudel, conductor “The Art of Beverly Sills” Deutsche Gramophon 4717662 Astor Piazolla:  Primavera Porteña  Eroica Trio “Pasión” EMI Classics 57033 Georg Philipp Telemann:  Quartet No. 4 in G Major Mélomanie “Georg Philipp Telemann” Lyrichord 8028 Jules Massenet:  Meditation, from Thais Leila Josefowicz, violin Academy of St. Martin in the Fields; Sir Neville Marriner, conductor “Violin for Anne Rice” Phillips 462 032-2 Léo Delibes:  Flower Duet, from Lakme Alyson Cambridge & Nicole Cabel, sopranos Lake Forest Symphony; Vladimir Kulenovic, conductor “Sisters in Song” Cedille 90000 181 Jennifer Higdon:  Percussion Concerto Colin Currie, percussion London Philharmonic Orchestra; Marin Alsop, conductor “Marin Alsop conducts MacMillan, Adès and Higdon” LPO 0035   58:29 […] Read More


  • September 14 – 20, 2019: One Life: Joan Tower

    September 14, 2019

    “Composing is not an easy activity.  But as life goes on, the rewards come in.”  – Joan Tower   At 80 years old, Joan Tower is still an active teacher and composer.  This week we take a listen to some of her music, and some of her thoughts on composing and women in music.   “One Life:  Joan Tower” Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman Colorado Symphony; Marin Alsop, conductor “Joan Tower: Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman” Koch International 7469 Silver Ladders (excerpt) St. Louis Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin, conductor “Tower: Orchestral Works” First Edition 0025 Night Fields Muir Quartet “Black Topaz” New World 80470 Petroushskates Da Capo Chamber Players “Da Capo Chamber Players 10th Anniversary” New World 441 Made in America Nashville Symphony Orchestra; Leonard Slatkin, conductor “Made in America” Naxos 8.559328 Trio Cavany (excerpt) Lincoln Trio “Notable Women” Cedille 90000126   58:29   Feminine Fusion highlights the roles of women […] Read More


  • September 7 – 13, 2019: Season 4 Begins: Patchwork Quilt XV

    September 7, 2019

    “Music doesn’t lie.  If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music.”  – Jimi Hendrix   Ready for another season of Feminine Fusion?  We’re kicking off Season 4 with a Patchwork Quilt episode. And all the music on this program comes from CDs released in 2019.   “Season 4: Patchwork Quilt XV”   Valerie Saalbach:  Going to Heaven! poem by Emily Dickinson Elyse Anne Kakacek, soprano Christopher Fectau, piano “Untethered” True Capture Records Louis Karchin:  Act II, opening (from the new opera, “Jane Eyre”) Libretto by Diane Osen Jennifer Zetlan, Kimberly Giordano, Ryan MacPherson, vocals Orchestra of the League of Composers; Louis Karchin, conductor “Jane Eyre” Naxos 8.669042-43 Franz Schubert:  Sonata in D Major, Op. 137, No. 1 Vera Beths, violin Kenneth Slowick, fortepiano “Franz Schubert” Smithsonian Friends of Music 20-801 Alicia Terzian:  Un Argentino de Vuelta Grupo Encuentros; Alicia Terzian, conductor “Tangos…& Something More” Navona 6246 […] Read More


  • August 30 – September 6, 2019: Season 3 Retrospective

    August 31, 2019

    “I’ve always been interested in arrival, and coming to a space, and even to looking back at where you were.”  – James Turrell   Season 3 of Feminine Fusion has come to a close, and before we jump headlong into Season 4, we’ll take this opportunity to look back over just some of the music we’ve shared together in the last year.   “Season 3 Retrospective”   Joan Tower: Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman, No. 4 Marin Alsop, conductor Colorado Symphony Orchestra “Fanfares for the Uncommon Woman” Koch International 7469 Dolores White:  Blues Dialogues Rachel Barton Pine, violin “Blues Dialogues” Cedile 90000 182 George Gershwin:  My man’s gone now (from Porgy and Bess) Ruby Elzy, soprano CBS Studio Orchestra Introduction by George Gershwin “Ruby Elzy in Song” Cambria 1154 George Gershwin:  What you want wid Bess and I loves you, Porgy (from Porgy and Bess) Anne Brown, soprano Leo Reiseman and His Orchestra […] Read More


  • August 24 – 30, 2019: Humorous Music

    August 24, 2019

    “The awful things a hippopotamustn’t do Are just As important as the lawful things A hippopotamust.” – J. Patrick Lewis, “A Hippopotamustn’t”   Let’s have some fun!  This week on Feminine Fusion, some lighthearted works, including words of wisdom from a mother, a few frogs around a fountain, dueling cats, and so much more.   “Humorous Music” Claude Debussy:  Jimbo’s Lullaby (from The Children’s Corner) Larissa Dedova, piano “Claude Debussy: Complete Solo Piano Music” Centaur 3094 Alla Borzova:  Mother Said Paul Sperry, tenor The Da Capo Chamber Players “Pinsk & Blue: The Chamber Music of Alla Borzova” Albany 923 Judith Lang Zaimont:  Bubble-Up Rag Immanuel Davis, flute; Nannette K. Solomon, piano “Prestidigitations” MSR Classics 1238 Jennifer Bernard Merkowitz:  Les Crapauds de la Fontaine Andrew Kovaleski, bass clarinet “Mind & Machine, Vol. 2” Ravello Records 7997 Jennifer Bernard Merkowitz:  A Hippopotamustn’t Text by J. Patrick Lewis Otterbein University Concert Choir; Dr. Gayle Walker, director Live performance, used […] Read More


  • August 17 – 23, 2019: Summer Heat

    August 17, 2019

    “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines” – William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18   It’s August, and we are well past the Summer Solstice and looking toward the Fall.  Before the seasons turn, though, let’s take a listen to music of the Summer.   “Summer Heat”   Elena Kats-Chernin:  Deep Sea Dreaming Gondwana Voices; Lyn Williams, conductor Sally Whitwell, piano “Dreamings” ABC Classics 4769093 Judith Lang Zaimont:  Piano Trio No. 1 “Russian Summer” Peter Winograd, violin; Peter Wyrick, cello; Joanne Polk, piano “Judith Lang Zaimont” Sorel Classics 003 Thea Musgrave:  The Seasons:  IV. Summer Scottish Chamber Orchestra; Nicholas Kraemer, conductor “Musgrave: Memento Vitae, Helios, Night Music & The Seasons” NMC 074 Lena Johnson McLin:  A Summer Day Helen Walker-Hill, piano “Kaleidoscope: Music by African-American Women” Leonarda 339 Samuel Barber:  Knoxville: Summer 1915 Dawn Upshaw, soprano Orchestra of St. Luke’s; David Zinman, conductor “Dawn Upshaw – Knoxville: Summer of […] Read More


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