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 Ep13: Patchwork Quilt, Part XXXIV

    November 26, 2022

    “Music is the silence between the notes.”  – Claude Debussy   The winter snows are starting to fall in the northeast, so it’s a perfect time to add another block to our Patchwork Quilt.   Patchwork Quilt, Part XXXIV   Claude Debussy:  La plus que lente Suzanne Shulman, flute; Erica Goodman, harp “Being Golden” Wolftone Media 22061 J.S. Bach:  Sonata in E Major, BWV 1035 Julie Scolnik, flute; Sophie Scolnik-Brower, piano “J.S. Bach: Complete Sonatas for Flute & Piano” Navona 6468 Heitor Villa-Lobos, arr. Seunghee Lee:  Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 (Cantilena) Seunghee Lee, clarinet Cellists of the London Symphony Orchestra “Aspire” Musica Solis 71042 Tara Guram:  Piano Sonata Anna Kislitsyna, piano “Piano Spectrums” Navona 6413 Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe:  Prelude Johanna Rose, gamba “7 Movements” Rubicon 1101 J.S. Bach:  Cello Suite No. 5 (excerpts) Johanna Rose, gamba “7 Movements” Rubicon 1101   Run time:  58:30   Feminine Fusion highlights the roles of […] Read More

  • S07 Ep12: Four by Four

    November 19, 2022

    “The most perfect expression of human behavior is a string quartet.”  – Jeffrey Tate   The relationship between the musicians of a quartet is much like a marriage, with a tremendous amount of give and take, communication, and dedication necessary for a strong performance.  With so much available in the string quartet repertoire, ensembles are creating new and innovative ways to keep the quartet literature vibrant.  The women featured today come from many backgrounds, but all of them bring outstanding performances to these recordings.   Four by Four Felix Mendelssohn:  Scherzo, from String Quartet, Op. 44, No. 2 Cecilia String Quartet “Mendelssohn Op. 44, Nos. 1, 2” Analekta 2 9844 Margaret Brouwer:  Crosswinds Cassatt Quartet “Margaret Brouwer: Crosswinds” CRI 821 Caroline Shaw:  Blueprint Aizuri Quartet “Blueprinting” Independent Aaron Jay Kernis:  Musica Celestis (excerpts) Lark Quartet “Symphony in Waves; Musica Celestis” Argo 436287 TOKSO:  Rand TOKSO Folk String Quartet “Tokso Folk […] Read More

  • S07 Ep11: Plucked, Part 4

    November 12, 2022

    “Traveling with a harp is like being in charge of a huge, lovely, but precariously delicate companion.” – Nancy Allen   Guitar, harp, harpsichord – this week we hear works and performances from women playing plucked instruments.   Plucked, Part 4   Claude Debussy, arr. Nancy Allen:  Arabesque No. 1 in E Major Nancy Allen, harp “Nancy Allen: Harp” Angel/EMI 47520 Henriette Renié:  Pièce symphonique Melinda Zak, harp “Enchanted Hour” Centaur 2836 Carlo Domeniconi:  Koyunbaba Sylvie Proulx, guitar “Sirocco” Centaur 3053 Gaspard Le Roux:  Suite No. 5 in F Major Lisa Goode Crawford & Mitzi Meyerson, harpsichords “Gaspard Le Roux: Pièces de clavecin” Harmonia Mundi 901660 Naomi Shemer:  Four Songs Sharon Isbin, guitar “Dreams of a World” Teldec 25736   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 […] Read More

  • S07 Ep10: Women of Color: Performers, Part 6

    November 5, 2022

      “I’d never heard anybody play like that – short pearls on the string that just rung with the sweetness of honey.”  – Nokuthula Endo Ngwenyama   Women of color are still a relative rarity in the classical music world.  So on this episode, we’ll hear performances from several women working today, and making new paths and opportunities for tomorrow.   Women of Color: Performers, Part 6 Flutronix & Third Coast Percussion:  Play, from Rubix Flutronix (Nathalie Joachim & Allison Loggins-Hull) Third Coast Percussion “Perspectives” Cedille 210 Judith Lang Zaimont:  Serenade Melissa White, violin Paul Wiancko, cello; Awadagin Pratt, piano “Eternal Evolution: The Music of Judith Lang Zaimont” Navona 5846 Nokuthula Endo Ngwenyama: Sonoran Storm Nokuthula Endo Ngwenyama, viola “Sonoran Storm” EDI Records Robert Schumann:  String Quartet No. 2, Op. 41 Melina Pajaro-van de Stadt, viola/founder Dover Quartet “R. Schumann: String Quartets, Op. 41” Azica 71331 Amanda Harberg:  Prayer Julietta Curenton, […] Read More

  • S07 Ep09: Nature’s Mysteries

    October 29, 2022

    “Art will never come except from some small disregarded corner where an isolated and inspired man is studying the mysteries of nature.”  – Jean-François Millet Nature can be bring a sense of awe, of calm, even fear.  This week, works from women inspired by nature’s mysteries.   Nature’s Mysteries Edie Hill:  The Naming/Passenger Pigeon (from Spectral Spirits) The Crossing; Donald Nally, director “Born” Navona 6449 Shuying Li:  Canton Snowstorm Four Corners Ensemble “World Map” Navona 6312 Maria Schneider, poems by Ted Kooser:  Winter Morning Walks (excerpts) Dawn Upshaw, soprano; Australian Chamber Orchestra “Winter Morning Walks” ArtistShare 121 Judith Weir:  Storm Choristers of Temple Church; BBC Singers; Endymion Ensemble; David Hill, director “Storm” Signum 421 Henriëtte Bosmans:  Nuit Calme Leah Plave, cello; Dan Sato, piano “Impressions” Independent Diane Jones:  Crooked Lake Trio Casals “Moto Eterno” Navona 6341   Run time:  58:30   Feminine Fusion highlights the roles of women in classical music. […] Read More

  • S07 Ep08: Leading the Way, Part 3

    October 22, 2022

    “As a young girl growing up, I was told I could not possibly be a conductor.”  Mei-Ann Chen Marin Also made history when she became the first woman named Music Director of a major American Orchestra.  When she stepped down from that role 14 years later, in 2021, the 25 leading American orchestra were once again led exclusively by men.  Has that changed yet?  You’ll find out this week, when we hear from women at the conductor’s podium.   Leading the Way, Part 3   Jennifer Higdon:  Dance Card (excerpts) Mei-Ann Chen, conductor Chicago Sinfonietta “Project W” Cedille 185 Jan Erik Mikalsen:  Saan Han-Na Chang, conductor POING Trio; Oslow Philharmonic “Saan” Aurora 5092 Ricky Ian Gordon (libretto by Frank Bidart): Ellen West – Prologue Lidiya Yankovskaya, conductor Aeolus Quartet; Ricky Ian Gordon, Jennifer Zetlan, & Nathan Gunn, voice “Ellen West” Bright Shiny Things Max Bruch:  Suite No. 1 on Russian […] Read More

  • S07 Ep07: Alone in a Room

    October 15, 2022

    “You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Maya Angelou   The Covid-19 pandemic changed the art world dramatically.  Many musicians took the opportunity to explore new – and old – repertoire, often heading into the recording studio alone.  Here are some of the recordings from those efforts, created Alone in a Room.   Alone in a Room Paola Prestini:  Water Sprite (inspired by Ravel’s “Ondine”) Inna Faliks, piano “Reimagine: Beethoven & Ravel” Navona 6352 Stefania de Kenessey:  Lead Me Alone Stefania de Kenessey, electronics “in her words” Neuma 155 Niccolo Paganini:  Caprices (excerpts) Alina Ibragimova, violin “Paganini: 24 Caprices” Hyperion Laura Snowden:  Through the Fog Joo Yeon Sir, violin “Solitude” Rubicon Sarah Gibson:  You Are Still Here Jennifer Koh, violin “Alone Together” Cedille Hanna Benn:  Exhalation Jennifer Koh, violin “Alone Together” Cedille Missy Mazzoli:  Hail Horrors […] Read More

  • S07 Ep06: What’s In A Name?

    October 8, 2022

    “For what’s in a name?  Would not that which we call a rose by any other name smell as sweet?” – William Shakespeare, Romeo & Juliet   How does an ensemble choose their name?  That’s the question posed this week.  A painter, a nun, even a comic strip, all inspired these ensembles.   What’s In A Name? Traditional, arr. Danielle Kuhlmann:  The Trees They Grow So High Genghis Barbie “2 Legit” Independent Margaret Brouwer:  Crosswinds Cassatt String Quartet “Margaret Brouwer: Crosswinds” CRI 821 Gabriela Lena Frank:  Four Folk Songs Claremont Trio “Queen of Hearts” Tria Records Nico Muhly:  Fast Dances Duo Scorpio “Two Bridges” American Modern Recordings 1047 Ariel Ramírez & Félix Luna, arr. Emilio Solla:  Alfonsina y el mar ATLYS “ATLYS” Independent Alessandro Marcello:  Concerto in C Major Kassia Ensemble Mary Elizabeth Bowden, trumpet “Rêverie” Summit 743     Run time:  58:30   Feminine Fusion highlights the roles of women in […] Read More

  • S07 Ep05: Songs Touching Many Hearts

    October 1, 2022

      “Those who wish to sing always find a song.” – Swedish proverb   It’s a special feeling to hear women singing together.  This week music reflecting science, sonics, and society, from all-female vocal ensembles.   Songs Touching Many Hearts   Tellu Turkka:  Ancient Vocabularies Carmina Slovenica “DERT endemic songs” Independent Eric Tuan: Displacement Peninsula Women’s Chorus “Women Making Waves” Independent Joan Szymko, text by Audre Lorde: She Who Makes Her Meaning Clear (Gamba Adisa) MUSE, Cincinnati’s Women’s Choir “We Who Make Our Meaning Clear” Independent Sound Circle: Into the Night Sound Circle “Invitation: Sonic Explorations” Independent Richard Einhorn: The Origin (excerpts) Kitka “The Origin” Independent   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 studios at WCNY-FM. Read More

  • S07 Ep04: Winds of Change

    September 24, 2022

    “One of those lovelorn sonatas for wind instruments was riding past on a solemn white horse.  Everybody wondered who the new arrival was.”  – John Ashbery   This week we take a listen to women playing woodwinds!  Sounds of the flute, oboe, bassoon and clarinet all fill the air in this episode.   Winds of Change Eugene Bozza:  Image Olga Reiser, flute “Flute Tales” Solo Musica 375 Lowell Lieberman:  Sonata for Flute and Harp Odile Renault, flute; Elodie Reibaud, harp “Musikalische Perlen” Ars Produktion Robert K. Mueller:  Commemoration: In Honor of Fallen Heroes Theresa Delaplain, oboe; Tomoko Kashiwagi, piano “Souvenirs” MSR Classics 1691 Madeleine Dring:  Trio for oboe, bassoon and piano Three Wood Trio (Rebecca Mindock, oboe; Kirsten Boldt-Neurohr, bassoon; Laurie Anne Hunter, piano) “Three Wood Trio” Centaur 3226 W.A. Mozart:  Clarinet Concerto in A Major, K. 6221 (Mvt. 2) Annelien van Wauwe, clarinet North German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra; Andrew […] Read More

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