“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. 22 - 23||Sing! Part 2||Women’s voices raised in song|
|Feb. 29 - March 1||Looking Back||Music by women from Medieval, Renaissance, and the Baroque|
|March 7 - 8||At the Keyboard, Part 3||Women pianists have left the parlor and made their mark on the concert stage. This week, performances from these talented musicians|
|March 14 - 15||Four by Four, Part 2||Performances from all-female quartets|
|March 21 - 22||Seasonal Music: Spring||Honor the equinox and the arrival of Spring with works for the season, written and performed by women|
|March 28 - 29||Patchwork Quilt, Part XIX||Another block is added to our patchwork quilt|
March 28, 2020
“How is it that music can, without words, evoke our laughter, our fears, our highest aspirations?” – Jane Swan On this Patchwork Quilt episode, new music for old instruments, a work inspired by war, and another inspired by peace. With performances from outstanding performers and composers. Patchwork Quilt, Part XI Mark Janello: Toccata-Rondo for Harpsichord Elaine Funaro, harpsichord “Uno, due, tre” Aliénor 1210 Jakub Ciupinski: Edo Lullaby Anne Akiko Meyers, violin “Mirror in Mirror” Avie 2386 Alexandra Stréliski: Overturn Alexandra Stréliski, piano “Inscape” Secret City Records 080 Edwin McLean: Sonata for Three Harpsichords Elaine Funaro, Beverly Biggs, Rebecca Pechefsky, harpsichords “Uno, due, tre” Aliénor 1210 Adrienne Albert: War Stories Julie Thornton, flute/piccolo; Michael Thornton, horn; Susan Grace, piano “Passages: Music for Flute & Horn” Albany 1705 Morten Lauridsen: O Magnum Mysterium Anne Akiko Meyers, violin Philharmonia Orchestra; Kristjan Järvi, conductor “Mirror in Mirror” Avie 2386 Run time: 58:29 Feminine Fusion highlights the roles of women […] Read More
March 14, 2020
“We don’t have to fight things out. The more we live with a piece, the more we begin to see it the same way.” – Sharon Prater, Colorado Quartet In many ways, a quartet is an ideally-sized ensemble – large enough to cover the wide timbral range of the musical, yet small enough to maintain an intimacy with the audience and an amazing communication among the members. This week, performances from string quartets and piano quartets. “Four by Four, Part 2” Darren Sigesmund: Kensington Ceilidh Ensemble Made in Canada “Mosaïque” Canadian Music Centre Distribution Service Caroline Shaw: Blueprint Aizuri Quartet “Blueprinting” New Amsterdam 104 Robert Xavier Rodriguez: Meta 4 Colorado Quartet “Chamber Works” Albany 1136 Camille Saint-Saens: Africa, Op. 89 Salut Salon “Carnival Fantasy” Warner Music Group John Williams, Klaus Doldinger, Kurt Weill: Shark Medley Salut Salon “Carnival Fantasy” Warner Music Group Barbara Corall: Nbiidaasamishkaamin Ensemble Made in Canada “Mosaïque” […] Read More
March 7, 2020
“Color is the keyboard, the eyes are the harmonies, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another, to cause vibrations in the soul.” – Wassily Kandinsky The colors and emotions a talented pianist can pull from the instrument is amazing. This episode features women at the keyboard in a variety of roles, from soloist to collaborative pianist. “At the Keyboard, Part 3” Carl Vine: Bagatelle #3 and #5 Lindsay Garritson, piano “Aphorisms” Independent Label Lili Boulanger: Trois Morceaux pour Piano Charlotte Mueller, piano “Woman’s Work” MSR Classics 1160 W. A. Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 6 in B-flat Major, K. 238 Anne-Marie McDermott, piano Odense Symphony Orchestra; Scott Yoo, conductor “Mozart Piano Concertos, Vol. 1” Bridge 9518 Alexina Louie: Warrior (from Scenes From A Jade Terrace) Susan Chan, piano “East West Encounter I” MSR Classics 1245 Thea Musgrave: Excursions Iris Graffman Wenglin & […] Read More
February 29, 2020
“Whatever you are is because of what your ancestors have done.” – Li Lu The accomplishments of women from Medieval times and forward have laid the foundation for all that we are able to accomplish today. In this episode, music from Sappho and Kassia, Strozzi and de la Guerre, and more. “Looking Back” Kassia: I Edessa VocaMe “Kassia: Byzantine Hymns from the first female composer of the Occident” Christophorus 77308 Sappho: The Bridal Day Petros Tabouris “Secular Music of Greek Antiquity, Vol. 2” FM Records 809 Khosrovidukht: Zarmanali e Ints (Wondrous it is to me) Sharakan Early Music Ensemble “The Music of Armenia, Vol. 2” Celestial Harmonies 131162 Tibors de Sarenom: Bel dous amics Els Trobadors “Et Ades Sera L’Alba” Sonifolk 1016 Barbara Strozzi: Lagrime mie Romina Basso, soprano; Latinita Nostra, organ “Lamento: Romina Basso” Naive 5390 Bianca Maria Meda: Ardete Capella Artemesia; Candace Smith, conductor “Rosa Mistica” Tactus 600003 Elisabeth Jacquet de La […] Read More
February 22, 2020
“Value your time and expertise. If you want to do what you do to the best of your ability, you have to make time to do it well. And unless you show the world that you value what you bring to the table, you can’t expect them to do it. Go for it!” – Morna Edmundson Women coming together to sing is a marvelous event. This episode highlights music from all-female vocal ensembles, as well as soloists. “Sing! Part 2” Thorkell Sigurbjörnsson: Til þín drottin hnatta og heima (To Thee Lord of Earth and Heaven) Graduale Nobili; Jon Stefansson, conductor “In Paradisum: Icelandic Music for Women’s Choir” Icelandic Music Information Centre 512471 Keith Hamel: Salem, 1692 Elektra Women’s Choir; Morna Edmundson, conductor “Legacy” Centrediscs 6800 Lori Tennenhouse: Iraqi Peace Song MUSE “We Who Make Our Meaning Clear” CD Baby Bobby McFerrin: The 23rd Psalm MUSE “We Who Make Our Meaning Clear” […] Read More
February 15, 2020
“Music has to be human, and people have to like it; it has to move them spiritually and intellectually.” – Margaret Bonds Composer Margaret Bonds was an influential African American woman in the music world – and you probably don’t know her name. On this episode, we look at the life and music of this talented Chicago native. “One Life – Margaret Bonds” Minstrel Man and Dream Variation, from Three Dream Portraits Text by Langston Hughes Icy Rene Simpson, soprano Artina McCain, piano “I, too” Longhorn Music Troubled Water Althea Waite, piano “Black Diamonds” Cambria 1097 Songs of the Seasons Texts by Langston Hughes Louise Toppin, soprano John B. O’Brien, piano “Ah! Love But a Day” Albany 385 The Ballad of the Brown King Texts by Langston Hughes Dessoff Choirs Dessoff Orchestra Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor “The Ballad of the Brown King & Selected Songs” Avie 2413 The […] Read More
February 8, 2020
“Music can connect people in ways beyond notes on a page.” – Christina Rusnak The four elements – earth, air, fire, and water – were viewed by the ancient Greeks as the foundation upon which all of nature and indeed, the world, could be explained. The music on this episode may not explain the world, but they were inspired by these four elemental building blocks. “Elemental Music, Part 2” Manuel de Falla: Danza Ritual del Fuego, from “El Amor Brujo” Yu Kosuge, piano “Four Elements, Vol. 2 – Fire” Orchid Classics 100108 Luna Pearl Woolf: Aprés Moi, le Déluge Matt Haimovitz, cello Choir of Trinity Wall Street; Julian Wachner, conductor “Fire and Flood” Pentatone 5186803 Christina Rusnak: Glacier Blue Ovidiu Marinescu, cello “Moto Celeste” Navona 6266 Shulamit Ran: East Wind Patricia Spencer, flute “Music by Shulamit Ran” Bridge 9052 Cindy Cox: Sparkling, from Geode Earplay Ensemble “Columba aspexit” CRI 886 Mary Lee […] Read More
February 1, 2020
“Nationality, gender, accent…everything disappears when you just close your eyes and listen.” – Simone Menezes Being a successful leader demands respect. Challenging enough on its own, and often more difficult when you add both gender and racial bias into the equations. This episode features women of color who have taken up the conductor’s baton. “Women of Color: Leaders” Juventino Rosas: Sobre las Olas Alondra de la Parra, conductor Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas “Me Alma Mexicana/My Mexican Soul” Sony 75555 Detlev Glanert: Frenesia Xian Zhang, conductor Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra “Horizon 6” RCA 15001 Adriana Holszky: Floten des Lichts Kay George Roberts, conductor Commonwealth Winds; Renata Brosch, soprano “Message: Five Vocal Works” CPS 999290-2 George Walker: Lyric for Strings Jeri Lynne Johnson, conductor Black Pearl Orchestra Live Performance, used with permission Ellis Marsalis: Fourth Autumn Jeri Lynne Johnson, conductor Black Pearl Orchestra; Rodney Mack, trumpet Live Performance, used with permission Luduino Pitombeira: Tango Simone Menezes, conductor […] Read More
January 25, 2020
“Practice hard, stay yourself, ask yourself why you make music and embrace challenges with a smile.” – Annelien Van Wauwe The winter winds are blowing cold outside, but inside the winds are warm and wonderful. This week, some of the best women woodwind players recording today. Single reeds, double reeds, and flutes – all of them make an appearance on this episode. “Winter Winds” David Gordon: Bebop Tango Alison Teale, Cor Anglais Elizabeth Burley, piano “Cor!” Oboe Classics 2023 Francis Poulenc: Oboe Sonata, Op. 185 (excerpt) Katherine Needleman, oboe Jennifer Lim, piano “Duos for Oboe and Piano” Genuin 16407 Adrienne Albert: Swing Shift Christin Schillinger, bassoon Jed Moss, piano “Basoon Unbounded – 21st Century Music for Bassoon and Piano” MSR Classics 1653 Manfred Trojahn: Rhapsodie pour clarinette et orchestra (excerpt) Annelien Van Wauwe, clarinet Orchestra National de Lille; Alexandre Bloch, conductor “Belle époque” Pentatone 186808 Efrain Amaya: Pathways Sara […] Read More
January 18, 2020
“As a language without words, music communicates a commonality among people, linking mankind by means of shared understanding and experience.” – Evangeline Benedetti What a variety on this Patchwork Quilt episode! Traditional and brand new works, including some jazz crossover, electronics, and composers partnering with performers. “Patchwork Quilt, Part XVIII” Giuseppe Torelli, arr. by Craig Terry: Tu lo sai Joyce DiDonato, soprano Craig Terry, piano; Charlie Porter, trumpet; Jimmy Madison, drums; Chuck Israels, bass; Lautaro Greco, bandoneon “Songplay” Erato 019295534387 Hugo Godron: Suite Bucolique Sara Farker, oboe; Casey Robards, piano “Botanica” MSR Classics 1723 Philip Glass: Mad Rush Rea Beaumont, piano “Timeless” Shrinking Planet Productions 0093 Missy Mazzoli: Vespers for Violin Jennifer Koh, violin; Missy Mazzoli, electronics “Limitless” Cedille 9000 191 Franz Liszt: Die Macht der Musik Julia Kleiter, soprano; Julius Drake, piano “Liszt: The Complete Songs, Vol. 6” Hyperion 68235 Sergei Prokofiev: Sonata for cello and piano, Op. 119 (excerpt) Evangeline […] Read More