Feminine Fusion



“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
January 1 - 7 Looking Back, Looking Forward A look back at some of the milestones from 2021
January 8 - 14 One Life: Henriette Bosmans Learn about the life and music of this Dutch composer
January 15 - 21 High Strung, Part 4 Women who play the violin and viola
January 22 - 28 Patchwork Quilt, Part XXXI Our patchwork quilt continues to grow with works and performances by talented women
Jan. 29 - Feb. 4 Winter Light In the dark of winter, a program of music by women bringing light
February 5 - 11 These Hallowed Halls Early works by women while studying composition
February 12 - 18 Women of Color: Performers, Part 5 Performances from women of color throughout the years
February 19 - 25 Sing, Part 4 From opera to art song, these women bring inspiration with every note
February 26 - March 4 Stage and Screen, Part 4 More music from women composing for film and theater
  • S06 Ep20: High Strung, Part 4

    January 15, 2022

    “In music you can find your own niche. You can do what you want to do. There is really no job description. You have to find your own way, and that’s fun.” – Hilary Hahn Feeling a bit high strung?  This week, that’s a good thing.  We’ll hear performances across the years from women playing violin and viola. High Strung, Part 4   Henryk Wieniawski:  Scherzo-Tarantella Ida Haendel, violin Adela Kotowska, piano “Ida Haendel: Works for Violin and Piano” Decca 455488 J.S. Bach:  Violin Concerto in G minor, BWV 1056 Viktoria Mullova, violin Mullova Ensemble “J.S. Bach Violin Concertos” Phillips 446675 Josef Suk:  Liebeslied Janine Jansen, violin Antonio Pappano, piano “12 Stradivari” Decca 4851605 Pablo de Sarasate:  Sérénade andalouse, Op. 28 Julia Fischer, violin Milana Chernyavska, piano “Julia Fischer: Sarasate” Decca 4785950 Maria Newman:  Two Dances for Deliverance Maria Newman, viola “Chamber Works of Maria Newman & Alfred Newman” Raptoria 1004 Benjamin […] Read More

  • S06 Ep19: One Life: Henriette Bosmans

    January 8, 2022

    “Without music, life is unnecessary” – Henriëtte Bosmans A friend recently handed me a CD of music from a Dutch composer whose name was completely unfamiliar.  Her music, and her life story, drew me in.  This week, a look at the life and music of composer Henriëtte Bosmans. One Life: Henriëtte Bosmans En Espagne, from Trois Impressions Jean Decroos, cello; Danièle Dechenne, piano “Aspects of Chamber Music from the Netherlands, Vol. 1” Radio Netherlands Cello Sonata Leah Plave, cello; Dan Sato, piano “Impressions: The Rediscovery of Henriëtte Bosmans” Independent Poème for Cello & Orchestra Dmitri Ferschtman, cello Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra; Ed Spanjaard, conductor “Cello Concertos” NM Classics 92040 Concertino for Piano & Orchestra Ronald Brautigam, piano Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra; Ed Spanjaard, conductor “Piano Concertos from the Netherlands” NM Classics 92044 Meditation Jannie Pranger, soprano; Tomoko Mukaiyama, piano “Henriëtte Bosmans: Melodies Françaises” NM Classics 92107 Chanson Jannie Pranger, soprano; Tomoko Mukaiyama, piano “Henriëtte […] Read More

  • S06 Ep18: Looking Back, Looking Forward

    January 1, 2022

    “New year is the glittering light to brighten the dream-lined pathway of future.”  – Munia Khan   The calendar is taking another turn, so this is a great time to look back over some of the accomplishments and accolades for women in classical music over the past year, and look forward to what is coming in the new year.  Though we still have a ways to go, the strides we have taken so far are heartening.   Looking Back, Looking Forward:   Rodgers and Hammerstein:  Hello, Young Lovers (from The King and I) Renee Fleming, soprano Orchestra of the Welsh National Opera; Paul Gemignani, conductor “Under the Stars” Decca 473250 Rebecca Clarke:  Piano Trio Neave Trio “Her Voice” Chandos 20139 Tania León: Singin’ Sepia Continuum “Singin’ Sepia” Bridge 9231 Maurice Ravel:  Shéhérazade (excerpts) Fatma Said, soprano Malcolm Martineau, piano; Burcu Karadag, flute “El Nour” Warner Classics 9029523360 Florence Price:  Fantasie Négre […] Read More

  • S06 Ep17: Turning of the Year, Part 2

    December 25, 2021

    “We wait for the new year to appear to us like the hopeful sun bringing aspiring light to an eager world.”  – Munia Khan   The calendar turns every year, and so do the cycles and seasons  of nature.  This week music inspired by nature and the cycles and elements that are constant only in their changing.  These things touch the artists’ heart, inspiring awe and creativity.   The Turning of the Year, Part 2 Juli Nunlist:  Spell of Creation Vox Future; Andrew Shenton, conductor “Voices of Earth & Air, Vol. II” Navona 6221 Persis Parshall Vehar:  From the Mountain Top David Keuhn, trumpet; Daniel Keuhn, trumpet; Ken Mervine, organ “From the Mountaintop” Fleur de Son Classics 57997 Rain Worthington:  Fast Through Dark Winds Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Petr Vronsky, conductor “Dream Vapors” Navona 6025 Margaret Brandman:  Firestorm Symphony Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra; Petr Vronsky, conductor “Sensations: Wind, Waves, Birds & Fire” Navona 6041 Daniel Dorff:  Salmon Lake […] Read More

  • S06 Ep16: Holiday Music

    December 18, 2021

    “Love came down at Christmas, Love all lovely, Love Divine” – Christina Rossetti   Holidays are filled with shared traditions and shared experiences.  This Christmas holiday, we can share an hour of music together, composed and performed by talented women.   Holiday Music:   Jennifer Higdon (text by Christina Rossetti):  Love Came Down Maureen McKay, soprano; Stacey Shames, harp Essential Voices USA; Judith Clurman, director “Essential Voices USA” Sono Luminus 70003 June Collin (text by James Morgan):  The Quiet Heart King’s Singers “Christmas Carols with the King’s Singers” Signum Classics 683 Conrad Susa:  Christmas Garland Philovox Ensemble of Boston; Jennifer Lester, conductor “Conrad Susa: Carols & Lullabies” Arsis 130 Elizabeth Poston:  O Bethlehem, from 2 Carols dedicated to Peter Warlock Belfast Cathedral Choir; Matthew Owens, conductor “A Belfast Christmas” Resonus Classics 10292 Larysa Kuzmenko: Gloria Belle Voce Women’s Chorus of Vermont “Tapestry of Song” Bella Voce 41544 Augusta Holmès:  Trois […] Read More

  • S06 Ep15: Snow Falling

    December 11, 2021

    “The merry sleigh-bells with soothing power Shed gladness on the evening hour.” – Susanna Moodie, “The Sleigh-Bells”   If you live in the north, you know that winter is definitely here.  Snow is crunching underfoot, and the cold takes your breath away.  The winter landscape looks as though it came straight out of an Andrew Wyeth painting.  In honor of the winter season we have works written by women, performed by women, and conducted by women.   Snow Falling:   Sylvia Woods:  Winter Bells Sylvia Woods, harp “3 Harps for Christmas” Tonmeister 1226 Rebecca Dale:  Winter Voces8 “Winter” Decca Classics 4830968 Judith Bingham:  The Darkness is No Darkness Voces8 “Winter” Decca Classics 4830968 I’lana Sandra Cotton:  Music for Midwinter Max Lifchitz, piano “American Women Composers” North/South 1043 Barbara Benary:  Sun on Snow Downtown Ensemble “Sun on Snow” New World Records 80646 Anna Snow:  Lully, Lulla (Coventry Carol) juice “Snow Queens” Resonus […] Read More

  • S06 Ep14: Patchwork Quilt, Part XXX

    December 4, 2021

    “I think music in itself is healing.  It’s an explosive expression of humanity.  It’s something we are all touched by.  No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”  – Billy Joel   The days are getting colder, so what better time to add to our Patchwork Quilt.  This episode will catch your attention with the variety of works you’ll hear.   Patchwork Quilt, Part XXX   Missy Mazzoli:  You Are The Dust Emily D’Angelo, soprano die freie orchestre Berlin; Jarko Riihimäki, conductor “enargeia” Deutsche Grammophon Pamela Sklar:  Two Journeys 8 Strings and a Whistle “…and nothing remains the same…” Ravello Records 8061 Rosephanye Powell:  Sicut Cervus Seraphour “Angele Dei” Independent Sergei Rachmaninoff:  Nocturne No. 10 Claudette Sorel, piano “Claudette Sorel: Rediscovered” Sorel Classics 018 Julianna Hall, with text by Molly Fillmore: Cameos Molly Fillmore, mezzo-soprano; Elvia Puccinelli, piano “Bold Beauty” Blue Griffin Records Hania Rani:  Demons Hania Rani, piano & […] Read More

  • S06 Ep13: In Olden Days

    November 27, 2021

    “When the words come, they are merely empty shells without the music. They live as they are sung, for the words are the body and the music the spirit.”  – Hildegard of Bingen   On this episode, we go from convents, to the court of a king, to a Victorian parlor.  The music composed by these remarkable women laid the foundation for today’s composers.  Enjoy this music from “olden days.”   In Olden Days:   Hildegard of Bingen:  Kyrie Oxford Camerata; Jeremy Summerly, director “Heavenly Revelations” Naxos 550998 Sulpitia Cesis:  Motetti spirituali (excerpts) Capella Artemisia; Candace Smith, director “Motetti spirituali” Tactus 572801 Lucrezia Orsina Vizzana:  Componimenti musicali de motetti concertati Capella Artemisia; Candace Smith, director “Canti Nel Chiostro: Musica Nei Monasteri Femminili di Bologna” Tactus 600001 Antonia Bembo:  Produzioni armoniche Armonia delle Sfere “Antonia Bembo: Produzione Armoniche 1701” Tactus 640280 Clara Schumann:  Three Romances, Op. 11 Isata Kanneh-Mason, piano “Romance:  The […] Read More

  • S06 Ep12: Giving Thanks, Part 2

    November 20, 2021

    “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”  – Sir Isaac Newton   No matter how many may travel a path, someone had to be the first to break the trail.  This episode takes note of several women who became the “first” to achieve a breakthrough in the classical music world.  It’s a small way of saying “thank you” for their efforts, and for opening the way for the women who follow.   Giving Thanks Judith Weir:  Vertue (Antiphon, Prayer) Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Geoffrey Webber, conductor “Judith Weir: Choral Music” Delphian 34095 Louise Farrenc:  Nonetto, Op. 38 (Mvt. 1) Minerva Chamber Ensemble; Kevin Geraldi, conductor “Farrenc: Nonetto, Op. 38; Brahms: Serenade, Op. 11” Centaur 3092 Ethyl Smyth:  Serenade in D Major (Mvt. 1) BBC Philharmonic; Odaline de la Martinez, conductor “Ethyl Smyth: Serenace in D & Concerto for Violin, Horn, & Orchestra” Chandos 9449 […] Read More

  • S06 Ep11: Low Strung, Part 3

    November 13, 2021

    “All I want to do is go out there and share the wonderful world of music. And advocate music education for every single child regardless of background, ethnicity and wealth. Because it’s so good for you to learn an instrument.” – Chi-chi Nwanoku   We’re a little low strung this week on Feminine Fusion, with music from women who play the double bass and the cello.  We have performances from some musicians you may know, and I’ll introduce you to some who may be unfamiliar. Since 1998, there have been 335 double bass auditions in orchestras around the country.  96% of those positions were won by men.  There is a bias that only a big, strong person could play such a massive instrument.  But double bassists like Chi Chi Nwanoku and Nina DeCesare (like Julius Caesar) contradict that image.  DeCesare plays with the Oregon Symphony, but says that, even those who […] Read More

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