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
Oct 1 - 7 Songs Touching Many Hearts Performances from all-female choral ensembles from around the world
Oct 8 - 14 What's In A Name All-female ensembles and how they chose their name
Oct 15 - 21 Alone in a Room The pandemic emptied the concert halls, but gave artists to explore solo performance. Here are some of those performances.
Oct 22 - 28 Leading the Way, Part 2 More from women on the conductor's podium
Oct 29 - Nov 4 Nature's Mysteries In the heart of the harvest season, music inspired by the mysteries of nature
Nov 5 - 11 Women of Color: Performers, Part 6 Performances from women of color throughout the years
Nov 12 - 18 Plucked, Part 4 Works for guitar, harp, and harpsichord
Nov 19 - 25 Four by Four All-female quartets fill this hour of music
Nov 26 - Dec 2 Patchwork Quilt, Part XXXIV No special theme, just wonderful works and performances by women
Dec 3- 9 One Life: Mary Howe Pianist, composer, and staunch music advocate. We'll take a look at the life and music of Mary Howe
Dec 10 - 16 Bold and Brassy, Part 4 These women are outstanding brass instrumentalists
Dec 17 - 23 Words and Music, Part 4 A pairing of poems and music, all composed by women
Dec 24 - 30 Christmas Music It's the Christmas season, so here are works for the holiday composed by women
Dec 31 - Jan 6 A New Year Dawns We start the new year with a look back at some of the highlights for women in 2022 and a hint of what's to come in the new year
  • S07 Ep30: Looking West, Part 3

    March 25, 2023

    “It’s like opening a new book.  I love going to concerts of new music.  You just don’t know what you might hear that will be very exciting.”  – Ruth Lomon   Our trip around the world comes to a close with a look to the west – back home with music from Canada and the US.  Piano, flute, and percussion works, plus a harp/double bass duo, all on this episode.   “Looking West, Part 3” Gabriela Lena Frank: Me diste ¡oh Dios! una hija Andrew Garland, baritone; Jeremy Reger, piano “El Rebelde” Independent Ruth Lomon: The Sunflower Variations Eileen Hutchins, piano “Shadowing” Navona 6080 Ann Southam: Glass Houses No. 9 Stephen Clarke, piano “Glass Houses: The Music of Ann Southam” Musica Viva 1124 Allison Loggins-Hull: Homeland Jennifer Grim, flute “Through Broken Time” New Focus Recordings 346 Caroline Shaw: For Claire and Philip River Town Duo “River Town Duo: For Claire & Philip” Furious […] Read More

  • S07 Ep29: Looking East, Part 3

    March 18, 2023

    “In my pieces I aim to create something captivating, magical, touching, inspiring. It doesn’t matter if the work is meant for a young piano student or the audience of the National Ballet … I cannot be satisfied with my work unless I aim high.”  – Alexina Louie     We travel to Asia this week, to hear the partnership of traditional eastern and “classical” western music.  These artists create works that are familiar, while bringing something new to our ears.   “Looking East, Part 3”   Bill Whelan: Emerald Tiger Vanessa-Mae, violin “Choreography” Sony 90895 Claude Debussy: Préludes, Book 2, No. 1 – Brouillards Duo Imaginaire “Japanese Echoes: Hommage à Claude Debussy” TYXArt 17099 Kumiko Omura: À travers le brouillard Duo Imaginaire “Japanese Echoes: Hommage à Claude Debussy” TYXArt 17099 Chan-Hae Lee: Frozen Land (excerpt) Sang-Hie Lee & Martha Thomas, piano “Globe Travel Homeland” Ravello Records 8076 Jyotsna Srikanth: Thillana – Raga Shansashri – Adi […] Read More

  • S07 Ep28: Looking South, Part 3

    March 11, 2023

    “Music can do so many different things.  It can bind an audience together, start a revolution, and heal people.”  – Jenny McLeod   We continue our trek around the world with a trip to the Southern hemisphere.  Music from South America, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.  There may even be a stop in Antarctica.   “Looking South, Part 3” Adelaide Pereira da Silva:  Piano Suite No. 2 (excerpts) Luciana Soares, piano “Brasileira: Piano Music by Brazilian Women” Centaur 2680 Adina Izarra:  El Amolador Manuela Weisler, flute “Small is Beautiful:  Short Pieces for Solo Flute: BIS 869 Liza Lim:  How Forests Think (excerpts) Elision Ensemble; Wei Wu, sheng “The Wreck of Former Boundaries: Elision Ensemble at 30” HCR 13 Jenny McLeod:  Three Celebrations New Zealand Symphony Orchestra; Uwe Grodd, conductor “Jenny McCleod: The Emperor and the Nightingale” Naxos 857261 Ayo Bankole:  Nigerian Suite Rebeca Omordia, piano “Ekele: African Classical Piano Music” […] Read More

  • S07 Ep27: Looking North, Part 3

    March 4, 2023

    “When I first visited the Arctic, I had this majestic feeling I cannot quite explain.  I felt a magnetic belonging to nature.” – Eldbjørg Hemsing   We start a journey around the world by travelling to points north.  Works and performances by women from Iceland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and a performance recorded in the Arctic Circle.   “Looking North, Part 3”   Anna Thorvaldsdottir:  Existence, from In The Light Of Air ICE “In The Light Of Air” Dorian Sono Luminus 92192 Thurídur Jónsdóttir:  Flow and Fusion Iceland Symphony Orchestra; Daníel Bjarnson, conductor “Recurrence – ISO Project, Vol. 1” Dorian Sono Luminus 92213 María Huld Markan Sigfúsdóttir:  Aequora Iceland Symphony Orchestra; Daníel Bjarnson, conductor “Recurrence – ISO Project, Vol. 1” Dorian Sono Luminus 92213 Åse Hedstrøm:  Flow Tomas Nilsson, marimba “Flow” Aurora 4998 Eva Noer Kondrup:  Sæl Christina Bjørkøe, piano “Animal Universe” Dacapo 8224733 Ulrika Emanuelsson:  Där livet klingar ut Vocal Art Ensemble; Jan Tngwe, director “Urgency […] Read More

  • S07 Ep26: Women of Color – Composers, Part 5

    February 25, 2023

    “Everyone just really needs that one big opportunity, and you knock it out of the ballpark, and that starts it.”  – Chanda Dance   Every day, more and more women of color are being recognized for their musical contributions.  This episode highlights some of these women who are composing works that are reflective, innovative, and captivating.   “Women of Color – Composers, Part 5” Valerie Capers:  Ruby: Tableau IV. Reflections Members of the African American Composer Initiative “Where Freedom Rings” Cambria 1238 Nia Imani Franklin:  Afro-dite Matt Haimovitz, cello “Primavera II: The Rabbits” Pentatone 186293 Nkeiru Okoye:  Dusk & Drums Talking (from African Sketches) Maria Thompson Corley, piano “Soulscapes 2” MSR Classics 1744 Ysaye Maria Barnwell:  Wanting Memories Mansfield University Concert Choir Peggy Dettwiler, director “I Can Tell the World (Live)” Mark Records 4871 Shirley Thompson:  Life Sequences Electric Voice Theater “The Franklin Effect” First Hand 051 Hannah Kendall:  The […] Read More

  • S07 Ep25: Patchwork Quilt, Part XXXV

    February 18, 2023

    “Music acts like a magic key, to which the most tightly closed heart opens.” ― Maria von Trapp   Time to add another block to our Patchwork Quilt, using blocks of music, rather than fabric.  It’s a wide array of works and performance from women in the classical music world.   “Patchwork Quilt, Part XXXV”   Traditional, arr. Maria Thompson Corley:  Steal Away Maria Clark, soprano; Maria Thompson Corley, piano “Soul Sanctuary” Navona 6406 Judith Lang Zaimont:  String Quartet: The Figure Harlem Quartet “Quadrants, Vol. 4” Navona 6483 Lisa Swerdlow:  Coming to America Concerto Lisa Swerdlow, piano “Coming to America Concerto” Independent Anne Boyd:  Cloudy Mountain Animo “Animo two” Ravello 8079 Patricia Morehead:  Voyage Across Centuries Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra; Stanislav Vavřínek , conductor “Inviting Worlds” Navona 6482 Florence Price:  Deserted Garden Amaro Dubois, viola; Tingting Yao, piano “Luz” Navona 6491     Run time:  58:29 Read More

  • S07 Ep24: With a Song in Her Heart, Part 2

    February 11, 2023

    “Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back. Those who wish to sing always find a song.” – Plato   Today’s program is filled with singing, by women and about women.  Each has a song in her heart to share.   “With a Song in Her Heart, Part 2” Daniel Carr, text by Bethany Swann:  The Sonambulist Mindy Ella Chu, mezzo-soprano Benefic Piano Trio “Daniel Carr Works, Volume 3” MSR Classics 1761 Robert Schumann:  Frauenliebe und Leben, Op. 42 (excerpts) Kindra Scharich, mezzo-soprano Jeffrey LaDeur, piano “To My Distant Beloved” MSR Classics 1762 Elsa Sangiacomo Respighi:  Tre Canzoni Spagnole Gabrielle Haigh, soprano Randall Fusco, piano “Il Circolo Respighi” MSR Classics 1784 Elizabeth R. Austin, text by Elizabeth Barrett Browning:  Sonnets from the Portuguese Melina Lieberman, soprano Cornelius Witthöft, piano “Window Panes” Navona 6304 Kathleen Tagg, text by Lila Palmer:  This be her verse Golda Schultz, soprano Jonathan Ware, piano […] Read More

  • S07 Ep23: Glimmering Gold, Part 2

    February 4, 2023

    “It’s a wonderful problem to have, going from, Who am I going to find to play?, to having 20 trumpets to choose from and 15 trombones, and goodness, probably 40 horns and 10 tubas.” – Susan Slaughter, founder of the Monarch Brass Ensemble   If you had looked for a list of the best brass players 30 years ago, there wouldn’t be a single woman among them.  Now, women are coming up as some of the top players in the world.  This week, we hear amazing performances from some of these women.   “Glimmering Gold, Part 2” Eric Ewazen: Concerto for Trumpet & Strings, Mvt. III – Elegia Tine Thing Helseth, trumpet Ensemble Allegria “Seraph” LAWO 1251 Astor Piazzolla: Maria de Buenos Aires Lucienne Renaudin Vary, trumpet Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra; Sascha Goetzel, conductor “Piazzolla Stories” Warner Classics 9029515563 James Lentini: East Coast Groove Velvet Brown, tuba Robert Conway, piano “James […] Read More

  • S07 Ep22: Women of Old, Part 3

    January 28, 2023

    “If we stand tall, it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.” – African proverb   We take another look back at women’s music from the Medieval period through the 1700s.  These are the women who laid the foundations for today’s composers. “Women of Old, Part 3”   Khosrovidukht: Zarmanali e Ints (Wondrous it is to me) Sharakan Early Music Ensemble “The Music of Armenia, Volume Two” Celestial Harmonies Hildegard of Bingen:  O, Ecclesia Anonymous 4 “11,000 Virgins” Harmonia Mundi 907200 Kassia:  I Edessa; Tin pentachordon; Five Hymns to St. Christina VocaMe “Byzantine Hymns of the first female composer of the Occident” Christophorus Barbara Strozzi:  Lagrime Mie Romina Basso – soprano; Latinitas Nostra “Lamento” Naive 5390 Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre:  Cantata No. 4, “Jonas” Judith Nelson – soprano Bay Area Women’s Philharmonic; JoAnn Falletta, cond. “Baroquen Treasures” Newport 60102   Run time: 58:29 Feminine Fusion highlights the roles of women in […] Read More

  • S07 Ep21: Low Strung, Part 5

    January 21, 2023

    “Let there be bass.”  – Leo Fender   This week, we hear from the low strings, with performances by Alisa Weilerstein, Kristina Reiko Cooper, Hee-Young Lim, Diana Gannett, and Chi chi Nwanoku.   Low Strung, Part 2 Josef Bardanashvilli:  Silent Song Kristina Reiko Cooper, cello; Or Matias, piano “Around the World with Love” Roven Records 10115 Frederic Chopin:  Introduction & Polonaise Brillante, Op. 3 Alisa Weilerstein, cello; Inon Barnatan, piano “Rachmaninov, Chopin: Cello Sonatas” Decca 002375302 Camille Saint-Saëns:  Concerto for Dello and Orchestra No. 1 in A Minor Hee-Young Lim, cello London Symphony Orchestra; Scott Yoo, conductor “French Cello Concertos” Sony Classical 80358118425 Clara Schumann, arr. by Diana Gannett:  Drei Romanzen, Op. 22 Diana Gannett, double bass; René Lecuona, piano “Lady Bass” Block M Recordings 030 Johann Baptist Vanhal:  Double Bass Concerto in D Major Chi chi Nwanoku, double bass Swedish Chamber Orchestra; Paul Goodwin, conductor “Double Bass Concertos” Hyperion 67179   Run time:  […] Read More

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