“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|
|Sept. 5 - 11||One Life: Rebecca Clarke||A look at the life and music of composer and violist Rebecca Clarke|
|Sept. 12 - 18||Black and White||Women at the keyboard|
|Sept. 19 - 25||In the Fall||Music of the season written or performed by women|
|Sept. 26 - Oct. 2||Elemental Music: Earth||Grounding - centering - solid - music inspired by the earth|
October 24, 2020
“What really counts isn’t whether your instrument is Baroque or modern: it’s your mindset.” – Sir Simon Rattle What would it be to step back in time, just for a moment, to listen to the music of Barbara Strozzi or Leonora Duarte as it was when it was new? We are fortunate to have musicians and historians today dedicated to presenting that music on the instruments for which it was composed. We’ll hear some of those performances today. Strung Along, Part 2 Giuseppe Maria Dall’Abaco: Capriccio primo Elinor Frey, baroque cello “La Voce del Violoncello” Passacaille 993 C.P.E. Bach: Sonata per cembalo concertato e violono Lucile Boulanger, viola da gamba Arnaud de Pasquale, fortepiano “C.P.E. Bach, Graun & Hesse: Trios for Fortepiano & Viola da Gamba” Alpha 202 J.S. Bach: Sonata #1 for Gamba and Harpsichord Emily Walhout, viola da gamba Byron Schenkman, harpsichord “J.S. Bach: Sonatas for viola […] Read More
October 17, 2020
“Those who wish to sing always find a song.” – Swedish proverb On this episode, we listen to women’s voices raised together in song, with words and music that can touch one’s soul. And although these groups have had to set aside their rehearsals and performances during the pandemic, their music and voices carry on. Voices Raised, Part 4: Jetse Bremer: Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day (text by Shakespeare) Wishful Singing “Time Travels” WSP Hildegard of Bingen: Favus Distillans, from Symphonia armonie celestium revelationum Voice “Musical Harmony” VOIMH 13 Abbie Betinis: A Blessing of Cranes Peninsula; Martín Bevenuto, director “2016 American Choral Directors Association, Western Division” Mark Records 52273 Augusta Read Thomas: Roses La Caccina “Open Book” Independent Label Don MacDonald: When the Earth Stands Still La Caccina “Open Book” Independent Label David Lang: He Was and She Was & Head, Heart (from love fail) […] Read More
October 10, 2020
“My guitar is not a thing. It is an extension of myself. It is who I am.” – Joan Jett What do harps, guitars, and harpsichords all have in common? They are all plucked instruments. This week, music from all of these instruments, from several talented musicians. Plucked, Part 3: Arnold Bax: Valse for Solo Harp Marcia Dickstein, harp “Bax: Chamber Music for Harp” RCM 19801 Gabriel Faure: Impromptu, Op. 86 Naoko Yoshino, harp “Claire de Lune – Musique romantique pour harpe” Philips 446064 J.C.F. Bach: Harpsichord Sonata in D Major Elaine Comparone, harpsichord “J.C.F. Bach (The Buckeburg Bach) Trios and Sonatas” Premier 1051 W.F. Bach: Sonata in G Major Maude Gratton, harpsichord “W.F. Bach – Keyboard Works” Mirare 088 Ross Edwards: “Arafura Dances” Concerto for Guitar and Orchestra Karin Schaupp, guitar Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra; Richard Mills, conductor “Mosaic” Australian Guitar Concertos” ABC Classics 4810961 58:29 […] Read More
October 3, 2020
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato Time for another Patchwork Quilt episode, and this week, we’re pulling music from the 12th century all the way into the present. Patchwork Quilt XXIII: Christopher Rouse: Flute Concerto, Movement 2 Carol Wincenc, flute Houston Symphony Orchestra; Christoph Eschenbach, conductor “Symphony No. 2/Flute Concerto/Phaeton” Telarc 80452 Paul Hindemith: Sonata Alice Giles, harp “Especially” Tall Poppies 213 Franz Schubert: Death and the Maiden St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Patricia Kopatchinskaja, conductor “Death and the Maiden” Alpha 265 Hildegard of Bingen: Spiritui sancto honor sit Anonymous 4 “11,000 Virgins: Chants for the Feast of St. Ursula” Harmonia Mundi 907200 Clara Schumann: Three Romances for Violin & Piano (excerpts) Tasmin Little, violin John Lenehan, piano “Tasmin Little plays Clara Schumann, Dame Ethel Smythe & Amy Beach” Chandos 20300 Florence Price: Piano Concerto in One Movement Karen Walwyn, […] Read More
September 26, 2020
“The earth has music, for those who listen.” – William Shakespeare Despite our differences, we are all of one world, and this blue-green planet that we call home inspired the works you’ll hear today. This week, it is Earth Music. Earth Music Tina Davidson: The Blue Curve of the Earth Hilary Hahn, violin Corey Smyth, piano “Retrospective” Deutsche Grammophon 4798295 John Ireland: Earth’s Call April Fredrick, soprano Mark Bebbington, piano “Earth’s Call” Somm 0137 Jennifer Margaret Barker: Earthtones Jorge Aguirre, violin; Scott Jackson, marimba “Nyvaigs” CRI 862 Judith Shatin: Piping the Earth Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Joel Eric Suben, conductor “Piping the Earth” Ravello Records 7825 Susan Botti: Terra Cruda Hart School Wind Ensemble; Glen Adsit, conductor “Raw Earth: New Music for Wind Band” Naxos 8573342 Lori Laitman: The Earth and I (texts by Emily Dickinson) Washington Master Chorale; Thomas Colohan, director “The Earth and I” Albany 1454 Diane […] Read More
September 19, 2020
“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.” – John Donne The days are growing shorter, the nights are getting cooler. Autumn is in the air. It’s a time that has inspired composers and performers for centuries, so this week we listen to music of the autumn season. In the Fall Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: October (Autumn Song), from The Seasons, Op. 37b Khatia Buntiashvili, piano “Motherland” Sony 88883734622 Antonio Vivaldi: Autumn, from The Four Seasons Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin/conductor Trondheim Soloists “Vivaldi: Le quatro stagioni” Deutsche Grammophon 289 463 259-2 Stephen Goss: The Autumn Song Patterson/Sutton Duo “Still Life” Ravello Records 8034 Jean Sibelius: Hostkvall (Autumn Song) MariAnne Haggander, soprano Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra; Jorma Panula, conductor “Sibelius – Orchestral Songs” BIS 270 Margaret Brandman: Autumn Rhapsody Margaret Brandman, piano “Sensations” Navona 6041 Ralph Vaughan Williams: Autumn (excerpts), from Folk Songs of the Four Seasons Clare College Choir; David […] Read More
September 12, 2020
“The piano keys are black and white but they sound like a million colors in your mind.” – Maria Cristina Mena Unlike a wind instrumentalist or string player who are most often focused on a single line, keyboardists have a near-orchestra under their hands, with lines, harmonies, chord progressions, occasionally playing something completely different with each hand simultaneously. So today, we’ll hear from women playing piano, organ, and harpsichord, bringing all their skills to these black and white keys. Black and White William Susman: Prologue and Action No. 9, from Quiet Rhythms Erika Tazawa, piano “Rhythm of Silence” Belarca 005 J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548 Cherry Rhodes, organ “Cherry Rhodes…(Live)” Pro Organo 7231 W.A. Mozart: 8 Variations on “Laat ons juichen” Laura Alvini, harpsichord “L’arte del fortepiano, Vol. 1” Pan Classics 19003 W.A. Mozart: 6 Variations on “Mio caro adone” Laura Alvini, fortepiano […] Read More
September 5, 2020
“[It was] my one little whiff of success.” – Rebecca Clarke A difficult childhood and an abusive father didn’t deter Rebecca Clarke from a career as a violist, and her compositions have become a significant part of the standard viola repertoire. Yet her music was largely forgotten by the time of her death. This week, a look at her life, and the rediscover of her music. One Life: Rebecca Clarke Passacaglia on an Old English Tune Kenneth Martinson, viola Christopher Taylor, piano “Rebecca Clarke: String Chamber Music” Centaur 2847 Lullaby No. 1 Paul Coletti, viola; Leslie Howard, piano “English Music for Viola” Helios 55085 Viola Sonata Barbara Westphal, viola; Jeffrey Swann, piano “Viola Sonatas” Bridge 9109 Down By The Salley Gardens God Made a Tree Patricia Wright, soprano; Jonathan Rees, violin; Kathron Surrock, piano “The Cloths of Heaven: Songs & Chamber Works by Rebecca Clarke” Piano Trio Neave Trio […] Read More
August 29, 2020
“I’ve always been interested in arrival, and coming to a space, and even to looking back at where you were.” – James Turrell It’s hard to believe we’ve shared 4 years together on Feminine Fusion. And, as we do every year, before we step off into the new season, let’s take a look back at the music we’ve shared in the past year. Season 4 Wrap Up Astor Piazzolla: Primavera Porteña Eroica Trio “Pasión” EMI Classics 57033 Jennifer Margaret Barker: Blue Waters Heather Corbett, vibraphone “Nyvaigs” CRI 862 Maggi Payne: Desertscapes Slovak Radio Chorus “Desertscapes: A Portrait of American Women Composers” MMC Recordings 2026 Jennifer Bellor: Cerulean Twilight Ying Zhang, violin; Andrew Smith, cello; Emily Montoya Barnes, harp; Luc Brust, vibraphone & wind chimes; Gabriela Ordoñez Villalobos, marimba & wind chimes; Tim Jones, percussion; Geoff Neuman, double bass “Reflections at Dusk” Innova 045 Margaret Bonds: Three Dream Portraits Icy […] Read More
August 22, 2020
“[Her voice is] like chocolate, right? It’s like velvet, caramel chocolate.” – Joyce DiDonato, speaking about Avery Amereau On this episode, we take a journey of discovery, with performances from some of today’s top female voices. Her Voice: Heitor Villa-Lobos: Canção de amor Nadine Sierra, soprano Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Robert Spano, conductor “There’s A Place For Us” Deutsche Grammophon 80028836-02 Richard Strauss: Vier Lieder, Op. 27 Lise Davidsen, soprano Philharmonia Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor “Lise Davidsen sings Wagner and Strauss” Decca 4834883 Leo Delibes: Bell Song, from Lakmé Aida Garifullina, soprano ORF Radio Symphony Orchestra of Vienna; Cornelius Meister, conductor “Aida” Decca 4788305 Ludwig van Beethoven: Primo amore Chen Reiss, soprano Academy of Ancient Music; Richard Egarr, conductor “Immortal Beloved: Beethoven Arias” Onyx 4218 George Frideric Handel: Cara Sposa, from Rinaldo Avery Amereau, contralto Philharmonia Baroque “Handel” Arias” Philharmonia Baroque PBP13 58:29 Feminine Fusion highlights the roles of women […] Read More