“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. 6 - 12||Women of Color: Leaders, Part 3||An episode dedicated to women of color who are conductors and organizers in the classical music world.|
|Feb. 13 - 19||One Life: Ethel Smyth||We devote an entire episode to the life and music of this remarkable woman.|
|Feb. 20 - 26||All Together Now, Part 2||The hour is filled with music performed by all-female ensembles|
|Feb. 27 - Mar. 5||Women of Color: Composers, Part 3||We are hearing more and more from women composers of color. This week we bring you music old and new.|
February 20, 2021
“People are always good company when they are doing what they enjoy.” – Samuel Butler Never underestimate the power of women working together! This week we’ll take a listen to performances from all-female ensembles. Included are performances from a Cuban orchestra, a Norwegian brass ensemble, and a very contemporary American string quartet. All Together Now, Part 2 Traditional: Cañambú Camerata Romeu; Zenaida Romeu, conductor “Cuba Mía: Soundtrack” Arkadia 73002 Franz Schubert: Piano Trio in B-flat Major, “Sonatensatz” Trio Vivente “Schubert: Piano Trios” EigenArt 35DIG Astor Piazzolla: Winter, from Four Seasons in Buenos Aires tenThing “10” EMI Classics / Warner Classics 5099908832 Michael Nyman: Galton Elise Hall Saxophone Quartet “Crossfades” Da Vinci Classics 00185 Traditional: Kresnice Carmina Slovenica; Karmina Silec, director “Citira” Catapult Coldplay: Atlas Atlys “Atlys” Independent Dmitri Shostakovich: Prelude and Fugues, Op. 87 (selections) Lafayette String Quartet “Lafayette String Quartet play Tchaikovsky & Shostakovich” Dorian 90163 Ronn Yedidia: Lullaby Ahn Trio […] Read More
February 13, 2021
“[Smyth is] one of the few women composers whom one can seriously consider to be achieving something valuable in the field of musical creation.” – P.I. Tchaikovsky Headstrong and independent, Dame Ethel Smyth led a life that included music, fighting for women’s rights, and working in a WWI hospital in France. This episode takes a look at her life, her achievements, and her music. One Life: Ethel Smyth Two Interlinked French Melodies City of Prague Philharmonic; Gavin Sutherland, conductor “Entente Cordiale” White Line 2014 Quintet for 2 violins, viola & 2 cellos in E major, Op. 1 (excerpts) Mannheim String Quartet; Joachim Griesheimer, cello “Ethel Smyth: String Quartet; String Quintet” CPO 999352 Mass in D (excerpts) Susanna Hurrell, soprano; Catriona Morison, mezzo-soprano; Ben Johnson, tenor; Duncan Rock, baritone BBC Symphony Orchestra; BBC Symphony Chorus Sakari Oramo, conductor “Dame Ethel Smyth: Mass in D & Overture to ‘The Wreckers'” Chandos 5240 […] Read More
February 6, 2021
“People can’t be what they can’t see. Representation matters.” – Kalena Bovell, conductor There are many ways to inspire young musicians. Just performing, being a visible example of what is achievable, can be more influential than you may realize. And of course, being an educator has a direct impact on others. Not to mention arts organizers and leaders in advocacy organizations. This episode highlights women of color who are leaders, in a myriad of roles, providing guidance and inspiration to others along their way. Women of Color – Leaders, Part 3 Zenobia Powell Perry: Cycle of Songs on Poems by Paul Laurence Dunbar (excerpts) Darryl Taylor, tenor; Deon Nielsen Price, piano “Music of Zenobia Powell Perry: Art Songs and Piano Music” Cambria 1138 Adriana Holszky: Floten des Lichts Kay George Roberts, conductor Renate Brosch, soprano; Commonwealth Winds “Message” CPO 999290 Julia Perry: Short Piece for Orchestra Imperial Philharmonic […] Read More
January 30, 2021
“When you see me passing, It ought to make you proud.” ― Maya Angelou, “Phenomenal Woman” It’s a rather different program this week. Once again we’re pairing women’s poetry with women’s music, and letting each work stand on its own. Words and Music, Part 3 Margaret Bonds: Troubled Water Helen Walker-Hill, piano “Kaleidoscope: Music by African-American Women” Leonarda 339 Jennifer Margaret Barker: Na Tri Peathraichean Laurie Baefsky, flute; Jennifer Margaret Barker, piano “Geenyoch” Meyer Media 1001 Alla Elana Cohen: Brachot (Blessings) for String Quartet Marissa Licota & Melissa Bull, violins; Alexander Vavilov, viola; Sebastian Baverstam, cello “Red Lilies of Bells; Golden Lilies of Bells; White Lilies of Bells” Ravello Records 7953 Margaret Brandman: Love Brings Change (Adagio for Strings) Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Petr Vronsky, conductor “Sensations: Wind, Waves, Birds & Fire” Navona 6041 Jennifer Higdon: Light Refracted Lark Quartet Blair McMillen, piano; Todd Palmer, clarinet “An Exaltation of Larks” Bridge 9379 […] Read More
January 23, 2021
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” ― Aldous Huxley Once again, a Patchwork Quilt episode with works and performances from women in the classical music world. Patchwork Quilt, Part XXV: Traditional: Lonely Waterloo Ofra Harnoy, cello Mike Herriott, various instruments “On the Rock” Analekta 2 8909 Meira Warshauer: Living Breathing Earth, Mvt. IV Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Petr Vronsky, conductor “Living Breathing Earth” Navona 5842 Elizabeth R. Austin: Lighthouse Symphony Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Joel Eric Suben, conductor “Window Panes” Navona 6304 Elizabeth Start: Air Swiftly Flies Elizabeth Start, cello Helen Lukan, piano “From the Start: Elizabeth Start” Independent W.A. Mozart: Piano Sonata No. 3, K. 281 (excerpt) Orli Shaham, piano “Mozart Piano Sonatas, Vol. 1” Canary Classics 58:29 Feminine Fusion highlights the roles of women in classical music. Host Diane Jones brings you stories and music of the women who create, perform, […] Read More
January 9, 2021
“Music is your own experience, your thoughts, your wisdom. If you don’t live it, it won’t come out of your horn.” – Charlie Parker The Brass Bodies study is a research project studying how the differences in male vs. female physiology affects not only the way women are taught brass instruments, but how these differences reinforce gender bias in in the music industry. This episode showcases some wonderfully talented women playing and composing for brass instruments. Sound the Horns: Stacy Garrop: Helios Gaudete Brass Quintet “Chicago Moves” Cedille 90000 136 Ida Gotkovsky: Trombone Concerto JoDee Davis, trombone Eric Charnofsky, piano “In the Moment” Albany 464 Herman Bellstedt: Piece de Concert Raquel Rodriquez Samayoa, cornet Jan Corrothers, piano “Cincinnati Virtuosity – The Cornet Solos of Frank Simon and Herman Bellstedt” CD Baby Lauren Bernofsky: Trio for Brass University of Maryland Brass Trio “Brass Trios” Albany 1222 Paul Hindemith: Horn Concerto […] Read More
January 9, 2021
“We never know which lives we influence, or when, or why.” – Stephen King Few people set out to be a groundbreaker. But when they break down a barrier, their influence becomes far-reaching. The women on today’s program are all groundbreakers, and examples of how to reach one’s own potential. Influential Women: Hildegard of Bingen: O viridissima virga Andrea Folan, soprano Elizabethan Conversation “The Medieval Lady” Leonards 340 Anna Clyne: Masquerade, from Mythologies Marin Alsop, conductor BBC Symphony Orchestra “Mythologies” Avie 2434 Louise Farrenc: Clarinet Trio, Op. 44 (excerpt) The Leroy Trio “Farrenc/D’Indy: Trios for Clarinet, Cello and Piano” Pan Classics 510085 Rebecca Clarke: Two Pieces for Viola and Cello Sheila Browne, viola Wesley Baldwin, cello “Beethoven, Lutoslawski, etc.” Centaur 2798 John Adams: Shaker Loops (excerpt) Sian Edwards, conductor Ensemble Modern “John Adams: Shaker Loops & Phrygian Gates for Solo Piano” RCA 09026686742 Judith Weir: String Quartet Kreutzer […] Read More
January 2, 2021
“Keep a little fire burning; however small, however hidden.” – Cormac McCarthy On this episode of Feminine Fusion, music inspired by some of the most critical – and sometimes frightening – elements: Fire and Ice. Each is vital to our modern existence. Fire warms us in the winter, and ice cools us when we are fevered, yet each can also be frightening and overpowering, and the works today reflect many aspects of these elements. Fire and Ice: Ralph Towner: When the Fire Burns Low Tomomi Kohno, guitar “Luxe” Act Infini 1031 Bernat Vivancos: Vocal Ice for Soprano and Cello Octet Nurial Rial, soprano 8 Cellists of the Basel Symphony Orchestra “Vocalise” Sony 88883754452 Mary Lee Taylor Kinosian: Firedance Upton Trio “These Are Different Times” Albany 1151 Dobrinka Tabakova: Frozen River Flows Roman Mints, violin; Donatas Bagurskas, double bass; Raimondas Sviackevicius, accordian “String Paths” ECM New Series 4764826 Luna Pearl […] Read More
December 26, 2020
“We wait for the new year to appear to us like the hopeful sun bringing aspiring light to an eager world.” – Munia Khan On this New Year’s Eve, we look back at women in music throughout the ages. From Medieval to Modern, here is music by women over the centuries: The Turning of the Year Blanche of Castile: Amours, u trop tart me sui pris Andrea Folan, soprano; Elizabeth Conversation “The Medieval Lady” Leonarda 340 Hildegard of Bingen: Ave generosa Oxford Camerata: Jeremy Summerly, conductor “Heavenly Revelations” Naxos 550998 Francesca Caccini: Dov’io credea Ingrid Matthews, violin; Byron Schenkman, harpsichord “Canzoni Da Sonar: Early Italian Violin Music” Centaur 2529 Louise Farrenc: Trio for Clarinet, Cello and Piano in E-flat Major, Op. 44 The Leroy Trio “Trios for Clarinet, Cello and Piano” Pan Classics 510085 Cecile Chaminade: Valse Caprice, Op. 33 Enid Katahn, piano Gasparo 247 Roxanna Panufnik: I Dream’d Joyful Company of Singers; Peter […] Read More
December 19, 2020
“People say that the soul, on hearing the song of creation, entered the body, but in reality the soul itself was the song.” ― Hafiz, 14th Century Sufi poet Music has long been a way to elevate an expression of faith. In the midst of this holiday season, we will listen to songs of faith and celebration composed across the centuries, from the Middle Ages to the modern era. Songs of Faith and Celebration Hildegard of Bingen: O viridissima virga, Ave Sequentia “Canticles of Ecstasy” Deutsche Harmonia Mundi 05472 77320 Judith Weir: Psalm 148 Matthew Knight, trombone Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge; Geoffrey Webber, director “Judith Weir: Choral Music” Delphian 34095 Sulpitia Cesis: Motetti spirituali (excerpts) Capella Artemesia “Motetti spirituali” Tactus 572801 Joan Tower: String Quartet No. 4, “Angels” Miami Quartet “Joan Tower: String Quartets Nos. 3, 4 & 5” Naxos 8559795 Isabella Leonarda: Iam diu […] Read More