“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. 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.|
December 14, 2019
“I like to keep changing because discovery is always interesting.” – Ludovico Einaudi Yet another Patchwork Quilt episode for you this week, and it’s quite a variety of music. From a work inspired by the Nevada landscape, to another commemorating the founding of the city of Hanoi, it’s marvelous music written and performed by women. “Patchwork Quilt, Part XVII” Johann Adolph Hasse: Morte col fiero aspetto, from Marc’Antonio e Cleopatra Cecilia Bartoli, mezzo-soprano Il Giardino Armonico; Giovanni Antonini, conductor “Farinelli” Decca 4850215 Jennifer Bellor: Cerulean Twilight Ying Zhang, violin; Andrew Smith, cello; Emily Montoya Barnes, harp; Luc Brust, vibraphone and wind chimes; Gabriela Ordoñez Villalobos, marimba and wind chimes; Tim Jones, percussion; Geoff Neuman, double bass “Reflections at Dusk” Innova 045 Jennifer Fowler: Lament Lontano; Odaline de la Martinez, conductor “Lines Spun” Métier 28588 Agathe Backer Grøndahl: Piano Suite, Op. 20 Charlotte Mueller, piano “Woman’s Work: Music for Solo Piano” MSR Classics 1160 […] Read More
December 7, 2019
In winter all the singing is in the tops of the trees White-Eyes, a poem by Mary Oliver Something a little different for this episode. Poems by women, coupled with music written or performed by women. No explanations, no stories, just the pairing of these two art forms. “Words and Music, Part 2” Michael Torke: Allegro, from Winter’s Tale Julie Albers, cello Albany Symphony Orchestra; David Alan Miller “Three Manhattan Bridges” Albany 1643 I’lana Sandra Cotton: Music for Midwinter Max Lifchitz, piano “American Women Composers” North/South Recordings 1043 Lars-Erik Larsson: A Winter’s Tale New York Scandia Symphony; Dorritt Matson, conductor “Orchestral Works of Lars-Erik Larsson” Centaur 2607 Dominick Argento: Winter Barbara Bonney, soprano; André Previn, piano “Th eShakespeare Concert Series, Vol. 6: No Enemy but Winter and Rough Water” Navona 6134 Daniel Crozier: Winter Aubade Heidi Williams, piano “Drive America” Albany 1298 Antonio Vivaldi: Winter, from the Four Seasons Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta, […] Read More
November 30, 2019
“The best conductors are the best listeners.” – Tom Service Let’s take another listen to ensembles being led by some of today’s leading women at the conductor’s podium. You may be familiar with one or two of the women highlighted today, but most will probably be new to you. But they are all tremendously talented. “At the Helm, Part 2” Greg Edmonson: Main Theme, Uncharted II Eímear Noone, conductor Danish National Symphony Orchestra “Gaming in Symphony” EuroArts 880242677013 Jessie Montgomery: Coincident Dances Mei-Ann Chen, conductor Chicago Sinfonietta “Project W” Cedille 90000 185 Mieczslaw Weinberg: Symphony No. 21, Op. 152 “Kaddish” Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, conductor Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Kremerata Baltica “Weinberg: Symphonies No. 2 & 21” Deutsche Grammophon 4836566 Astor Piazzolla: Primavera Porteña Lina Gonzalez-Granados, conductor Unitas Ensemble; Cuarteto Latinoamericano “Estaciones” Urtext 279 Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari: Suite Veneziana Ariane Matiakh, conductor Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra “Strauss: Aus Italien, Op. 16 & Wolf-Ferrari: Suite Veneziana” Capriccio 5344 […] Read More
November 23, 2019
“Music is the expression of the movement of the waters, the play of curves described by changing breezes.” – Claude Debussy From the Andes, to the American desert, to the city of Buffalo at the turn of the century. These are the places and journeys that inspired the works on this program. “Music of Place” Lydia Kakabadse: I Remember (excerpts) Clare McCaldin, mezzo-soprano; Paul Turner, piano “Ithaka” Divine Art 25188 Monica Houghton: Andean Suite Dmitri Atapine, cello; Hyeyeon Park, piano “Of Time & Place” Navona 6162 Maggi Payne: Desertscapes Slovak Radio Chorus “Desertscapes: A Portrait of American Women Composers” MMC Recordings 2026 Shirley Mier: Of Lakes and Legends (excerpts) Croatian Chamber Orchestra; Miran Vaupotić, conductor “Legends and Light” Navona 6187 Persis Parshall Vehar: City of Light John Fullam, clarinet Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; JoAnn Falletta, conductor “City of Light” Mark Masters 8643 58:29 Feminine Fusion highlights the roles of women in classical music. […] Read More
November 16, 2019
“A bird does not sing because it has an answer. It sings because it has a song.” – Chinese proverb It’s been said, “People are always good company when they are doing what they really enjoy.” For a dedicated ensemble, that enjoyment is evident in every note, and this episode features music from several all female ensembles, including an all-female orchestra whose members literally put their lives at risk in order to perform. “All Together Now” Jan Jirásek: Credo/Agnus Dei, fro Missa Propria Jitro Czech Girls Choir; Jiří Skopal, conductor “Parallel Worlds” Navona 6101 Catherine McMichael: Asteria Seraph Brass “Asteria” Summit Records 709 Jan Koetsier: Brass Symphony, Op. 80 tenThing “10” EMI Classics/Warner Classics 5099908832 Paul Ben-Haim: Chamber Music Auréole Trio “Embracing the Wind” AMR 1050 Eric Sweeney: Walk/Don’t Walk Triocca “Triocca: Trios for Flute, Viola and Harp” RTE Lyric FM 122 Sadie Harrison: Interlude from Gulistan-e Nur: The Rosegarden […] Read More
November 9, 2019
“Be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart, and strong enough to live the life you have always imagined.” – Anonymous Despite our best efforts, there is still a gender bias for aspiring brass players. One way to overcome this bias is simply by visibility – seeing women in roles that are unexpected, and make aspiring musicians realize they can follow that same path. “Bold and Brassy, Part 2” Nicolo Paganini: Caprice No. 24 Alison, Balsom, trumpet “Caprice” Angel/EMI 53255 Herman Bellstedt: Piece de Concert Raquel Rodriquez, cornet Jan Corrothers, piano “Cincinnati Virtuosity – The Cornet Solos of Frank Simon and Herman Bellstedt” CD Baby Alessandro Marcello: Concerto in C Minor Mary Elizabeth Bowden, trumpet Kassia Ensemble “Rêverie” Summit Records 743 Robert Suderburg: Night Set Maureen Horgan, trombone Robert Suderberg, piano “Moe’s Bit o’Blues” Centaur 3241 Antonio Rosetti: Horn Concerto in E Major Sarah Willis, horn […] Read More
November 2, 2019
“Pigeonholing is only interesting to pigeons.” – Jessye Norman A youngster sees a musician and says, “She looks like me. And she’s making incredible music. I can do that, too!” Being a woman of color is still an anomaly in the Classical music world, and this week we’ll take another listen to some of these talented musicians. On today’s program we’ll hear performances from women of color who were groundbreakers, as well as those making their way today. “Women of Color: Performers, Part 4” Franz Schubert: Ganymed, Op. 19, No. 3 Jessye Norman, soprano Phillip Moll, piano “Schubert Lieder” Philips 412623 Camille Saint- Saëns: Mon coeur s’ouvre à ta voix Grace Bumbry, soprano Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; James Levine, conductor “James Levin’s 25th Anniversary Metropolitan Opera Gala” Deutsche Grammophon 449177 Astor Piazzolla: The Angel Suite Ann Hobson Pilot, harp Lucia Lin, violin; J.P. Jofre, bandoneon “Piazzolla: Escualo” Harmonia Mundi […] Read More
October 26, 2019
“Ah, music. A magic beyond all we do here.” – J.K. Rowling There is magic in music, and on this program, we feature works by women who are inspired by the magic of the world around them. “Spinning Spells” Joanne Shenandoah: Skywoman Joanne Shenandoah, vocals Studio Orchestra; Tom Maguire, conductor “Skywoman” Silver Wave Records 941 Stacy Garrop: The Lovely Sirens & Pandora Undone, from Mythology Symphony CCPA Symphony Orchestra; Alondra de la Parra, conductor “Mythology Symphony” Cedille 90000 160 Margaret Brandman: Spirit Visions Margaret Brandman & Marcello Maio, piano “Sensations: Wind, Waves, Birds & Fire” Navona 6041 Ingrid Stölzel: The Voice of the Rain Sara Frisof, flute; Hannah Collins, cello; Michael Compitello, percussion “Flux” Navona 6252 Stefania de Kenessey: Entrance & Zephyr, from Magic Forest Dances William Meredith, oboe; Stefania de Kenessey, piano “Shades of Darkness, Shades of Light” North/South 1023 Judith Shatin: Widdershins Mary Kathleen Ernst, piano “Tower of the Eight […] Read More
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
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