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
June 15 - 20 Voices Raised, Part 6 Performances from women's choirs around the world
June 21 - 28 Strung Along, Part 4 Performances from women playing strings
June 29 - July 5 Independence Day Celebrating US history and achievements
July 6 - 12 A Little Romance Works by women from the Romantic era
July 13 - 19 Patchwork Quilt, Part XLII No special theme, just wonderful works and performances by women
July 20 - 26 One Life: Ellen Taaffe Zwillich A look at the life and music of Ellen Taaffe Zwillich, the first woman to with the Pulitzer Prize in Music
July 27 - Aug 2 Strings and Things Women's chamber music featuring strings and...?
Aug 3 - 9 Taking the Lead Women at the podium leading the orchestra
Aug 10 - 16 Always a Classic Who were the women writing in Haydn and Mozart's time?
Aug 17 - 23 O, Canada, Part 3 Let's travel north to hear from women composing and performing in Canada
Aug 24 - 30 Season 8 Wrap-up A look back at what we've heard in Season 8 of Feminine Fusion!
  • S08 Ep46: Patchwork Quilt, Part XLII

    July 13, 2024

    “Each individual is as individual as their fingerprints, and I think that’s extraordinary.” – Annie Lennox   Time to add another block to our Patchwork Quilt.  Enjoy the great music from women on this episode! “Patchwork Quilt, Part XLII” Amanda Harberg:  Tambourin, from Court Dances Cobus du Toit, flute; Amanda Harberg, piano “From the Rooftop” Neuma Recordings Geghuni Chitchyan:  Sonatina Şahan Arzruni, piano “By Women: piano works by Armenian women composers” AGBU/Positively Armenian Sophia Jani:  Six Pieces for Solo Violin Teresa Allgaier, violin “Six Pieces for Solo Violin” Squama Recordings Joanne Baker:  Piano Sonata Kristín Jónína Taylor, piano “Midwest Piano Sonatas” Navona 6653 Clarice Assad:  The Book of Spells The Meridian Ensemble “The Book of Spells” Navona 6644   Run time:  58:30 Feminine Fusion highlights the roles of women in classical music. Host Diane Jones brings you stories and music of the women who create, perform, and inspire. Produced in the […] Read More

  • S08 Ep45: A Little Romance

    July 6, 2024

    “It must be a sign of talent that I do not give up, though I can get nobody to take an interest in my efforts.” – Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel   Most folks know about Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn.  But who were their contemporaries?  This week, we hear works from some of the other women of the Romantic era. “A Little Romance” Maria Szymanowska:  Nocturne in B-flat Major Margot Dilmaghani, piano “Gardens of the Heart” Celebration Recordings Tekla Bądarzewska-Baranowska:  The Maiden’s Prayer I Salonisti “The Last Dance: Music for a Vanishing Era” Deutsche Harmonia 77377 Tekla Bądarzewska-Baranowska:  The Prayer Granted Robert Silverman, piano “The Parlour Grand, Vol. 2” Marquis Classics 201 Hedwige Chrétien:  Scene Rustique Leslie Odom, oboe; Soomee Yoon, piano “Scene Rustique” Ravello Records 7935 Mathilde von Kralik:  Sonata in D minor Donne e Doni “Donne e Doni, Volume 2” Musicraft Elfride Andrée:  Quintet in E minor Midsummer’s Music “Midsummer’s […] Read More

  • S08 Ep44: Independence Day

    June 29, 2024

    “One can never take for granted, however, the strength of a musical idea.” – Joan Tower   In honor of American Independence Day, music by women highlighting the spirit and history of the United States. “Independence Day” Nancy van de Vate: An American Essay, Movt. 3 Koszalin State Philharmonic Orchestra; Chorus Soranus; Szymon Kawalla, conductor “An American Essay: Music for Orchestra and Chorus” Vienna Modern Masters 3025 Margaret Buechner: The Flight of the American Eagle Royal Scottish National Orchestra; John Varineau, conductor “Buechner: Five Symphonic Classics” NordDisc 2030 Barbara Harbach:  American Solstice Ensemble Istropolis “Music of Barbara Harbach: Chamber Music I” MSR Classics 1253 Joan Tower: Made in America Nashville Symphony; Leonard Slatkin, conductor “Made in America” Naxos 8559328 Alyssa Reit: American Songs Eastern Brass Quintet “An American Collection” MHS 512491   Run time:  58:30 Feminine Fusion highlights the roles of women in classical music. Host Diane Jones brings you […] Read More

  • S08 Ep43: Strung Along, Part 4

    June 22, 2024

      “It’s live; it’s in the moment. Sometimes you’re given something by one of the orchestral players — this shape, that emotion — and you’re taking it from them. It needs to always be fluid. One cannot predict the outcome and one shouldn’t want to.” – Janine Jansen   We have a wide array of music for you on today’s episode of Feminine Fusion, from women playing strings.  You’ll hear from some familiar names, and some new ones, along with works from the traditional repertoire and some very new music – composed for some very old instruments “Strung Along, Part 4” Traditional, arr. Fritz Kreisler:  Londonderry Air Nicola Benedetti, violin Sheku Kanneh-Mason, cello; Benjamin Grosvenor, piano “Beethoven Triple Concerto” Decca Classics Eric Moe: Verklaertes Holz (Transfigured Wood) Rhonda Rider, cello “The Petrified Forest Project” Ravello Records 8103 Jean Sibelius:  Violin Concerto (excerpt) Janine Jansen, violin Oslo Philharmonic; Klaus Mäkelä, conductor Dietrich Buxtehude: […] Read More

  • S08 Ep42: Voices Raised, Part 6

    June 15, 2024

       “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.” – Maya Angelou   There is a power inherent in women’s voices joined together in song that is greater than any individual voice.  This week, performances from women’s choirs. “Voices Raised” Hilary Tann:  Contemplations 21, 22 Cappella Clausura; Amelia LeClair, director “Exultet Terra” Navona Records 6069 Traditional:  Svatba (Wedding); Strati na Angelaki Doumasche (Haiduk Song); Messetschinko io Greilivko (Love Song from the Mountains); Polegnala e Todora (Love Song) Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares “Le Mystère des Voix Bulgares” Nonesuch 79165 Jan Jirásek:  King Lavra Jitro Czech Girls Choir; Jiří Skopal, director Michal Chrobák, piano’ Pavel Plašil, percussion; Jan Jirásek, scissors “Parallel Worlds” Navona Records 6101 Daniel McDavitt:  Locus Iste (I Feel…) Brigham Young University Women’s Choir; Jean Appolonie, director “Locus Iste (I Feel…)” BYU Music Group 118 Florent Schmitt:  En […] Read More

  • S08 Ep41: Thunder and Rain

    June 8, 2024

       “I am a being of Heaven and Earth, of thunder and lightning, of rain and wind, of the galaxies.”  – Eden Ahbez Thunder can warn of an approaching storm, or signal it’s passing, with torrential rains that give way to gentle drops falling.  This week, music inspired by thunder and lightning.   “Thunder and Lightning” Rosey Mei-Kuei Lee:  Rainwater, from 24 Solar Terms Lauren Schack Clark, piano “Piano Music by Rosey Mei-Kuei Lee” Centaur 2908 Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate:  Wakaa (Flying), from Heloha Okchamali (Blue Thunder) Meraki “Within” Equilibrium Recordings 173 Judith Weir:  Storm BBC Singers; Choristers of Temple Church & Endymion; David Hill, director “Judith Weir: Storm: Signum 421 Noriko Koide:  Swaddling Silk and Gossamer Rain BBC Symphony Orchestra; Dalia Stasevska, conductor “Swaddling Silk and Gossamer Rain” Platoon 005 Margaret Brandman:  Gentle Summer Rain Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Stanislav Vavrinek, conductor “Symphonic Chronicles, Vol. II” Navona Records 6584     Run […] Read More

  • S08 Ep40: Sun and Sand

    June 1, 2024

       “This is the sense of the desert hills, that there is room enough and time enough.”  – Mary Hunter Austin   The desert and the sun – they go hand in hand.  Barren, uninhabitable – yet each holds beauty and inspiration.  Today we revel in that beauty as we listen to music of sun and sand. “Sun and Sand” Jennifer Bellor:  Reflections at Dusk James Whiting, vibraphone; Merrick Haji-Sheikh, electric vibraphone; Emily Montoya Barnes, harp; Gabriela Ordoñez Villalobos, marimba “Reflections at Dusk” Innova 045 Stefania de Kenessey:  Sunburst Mary Kathleen Ernst, piano “Two by Three: Music by Women” North/South 1015 Lauren Scott:  The Sun and Her Flowers Lauren Scott, Elizabeth Bass, Alexander Rider & Eleanor Turner, harps “Sea of Stars” Avie 2675 Hania Rani:  Sun Lavinia Meijer, harp “Summer” Sony 49718447 Morten Gaathaug:  Seashore Meditations Caroline Eidsten Dahl, recorder; Vergard Lund, guitar “Blockbird” LAWO 1069 Meira Warshauer:  Like Streams in the […] Read More

  • S08 Ep39: Flowers in Bloom

    May 25, 2024

    “Every flower is a soul blossoming in nature.”  – Gerard de Nerval.   It’s the time of year when flowers are blooming and trees are greening.  Here is music by women inspired by the season “Flowers in Bloom”   Mary Howe:  Spring Pastoral Imperial Philharmonic of Tokyo; William Strickland, conductor “Music of Mary Howe” CRI 785 Rachel Portman:  leaves and trees Niklas Liepe, violin; WDR Funkhausorchestre; Erina Yashima, conductor “Rachel Portman: Tipping Points, Vivaldi/Kerscheck: The New Four Seasons” Sony 19658872672 Victoria Bond: Jasmine Flower Daniel Panner, viola “Chamber Music of Victoria Bond” Albany 1161 Marion Bauer:  From the New Hampshire Woods Antonio Oyarzabal, piano “La Muse Oubliée II – Women Composers” IBS Classical 32024 Shih-Hui Chen:  Fantasia on the theme of plum blossom National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra; Loop 38; Yao-Yu Wu, conductor “Shih-Hui Chen: Silvergrass & Other Orchestral Works” New World 80807 Jessica Meyer: The Last Rose text by Thomas Moore Sarah […] Read More

  • S08 Ep38: Stage and Screen, Part 6

    May 18, 2024

    “The story’s surrealism suggested to me a music unmoored from time; the score includes imagined fiddle tunes, Baroque gestures, scrap metal percussion, seven acoustic guitars, eight harmonicas and harpsichord in addition to the chamber ensemble.” – Missy Mazzoli   We’ve come a long way in the last decade, and women are seeing more opportunities and better recognition for their contributions to music for film and stage.  This week, we share just a few of those remarkable talents.   “Stage and Screen, Part 6” Janine Tesori:  I’m Still Here, from “Kimberly Akimbo” Original Cast Recording Ghostlight Records Janine Tesori:  Blue (excerpts) Kenneth Kellogg, The Father; Briana Hunter, The Mother;  Aaron Crouch, The Son; Gordon Hawkins; The Reverend Washington National Opera Orchestra; Roderick Cox, conductor Original Cast Recording Pentatone Records Missy Mazzoli:  Proving Up (excerpts) Opera Omaha; International Contemporary Ensemble; Richard Rountree, conductor Pentatone Hildur Guðnadóttir:  Joker (excerpts) Original Soundtrack Recording Water Tower Music Pinar […] Read More

  • S08 Ep37: Patchwork Quilt, Part XLI

    May 11, 2024

    “I went to a high school that had a very good band, and we had a couple of choruses and an orchestra [where] we would play a Mozart symphony. The bizarre thing for the time, which I didn’t realize then, was that we had behind-the-screen auditions.” – Ellen Taaffe Zwilich   Time for another Patchwork Quilt episode.  Here are some very new releases from talented women.   “Patchwork Quilt, Part XLI”   Ellen Taaffe Zwilich:  Upbeat Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Gil Rose, director “Ellen Taaffe Zwilich: Symphony No. 5” BMOP Sound Gabriela Lena Frank:  Operetta Jonathan Miller, cello; Lucia Lin, violin “Songs for a New Century” Navona 6623 Linda Kouvaras:  Night Pieces: Reflections after Covid-19 Justin Kenealy, saxophone; Coady Green, piano “Linda Kouvaras: Instrumental Music, Chamber Works and Songs, Vol. 1” Toccata 729 Ljova Zhurbin:  Voices, a suite in 3 movements for piano and historical recordings Inna Faliks, piano “Manuscripts Don’t […] Read More

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