Anastasia Tsioulcas

Anastasia Tsioulcas is an Associate Producer for NPR Music. In this role she is responsible for producing, blogging and occasional reporting on classical and world music.

Tsioulcas is co-host of NPR's classical music blog, Deceptive Cadence, and also produces live concert webcasts, ranging from Member Station co-productions to other live concerts and special events, including Field Recordings and Tiny Desk Concerts, that she's helped curate and produce.

While here at NPR, Tsioulcas has produced, coordinated and reported on a variety of topics and initiatives including rallying a few hundred singers to Times Square for a "flash choir" to sing the world premiere of a new Philip Glass piece, commissioned by NPR Music. Tsioulcas also had the opportunity to speak with Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Steve Reich about his piece WTC 9/11 and she produced and co-hosted a live concert at (Le) Poisson Rouge with legendary conductor Daniel Barenboim and his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, comprised of players from Israel and across the Arab world.

Prior to joining NPR in April 2011, she was widely published as a writer on both classical and world music, and was the former North America editor for Gramophone Magazine and the classical music columnist for Billboard. She has also been an on-air contributor to many public radio programs, including WNYC's Soundcheck, Minnesota Public Radio's The Savvy Traveler, Public Radio International's Weekend America, and the BBC's The World. As a world music journalist, she has reported from across north and western Africa, South Asia and Europe on the music and culture of those regions.

Born in Boston, Tsioulcas was trained from an early age as a Western classical violinist and violist. She holds a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University in comparative religion.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:02 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Tracing The Career Of Claudio Abbado, A Consummate Conductor

Celebrated conductor Claudio Abbado in 1979 in his native Milan, during his tenure as music director of the city's famed opera house, La Scala.
Giorgio Lotti Mondadori/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 3:55 pm

Claudio Abbado, one of the most sought-after conductors of his generation, died Monday in Bologna, Italy, at age 80. His death was announced by a spokesperson for Bologna's mayor, saying that it followed an unspecified long illness. Abbado had been diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2000; following surgery for that illness, he was transformed into a hauntingly gaunt figure.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:11 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Guess Who's Singing The National Anthem At The Super Bowl?

From taffeta to tackles: Soprano Renee Fleming has been tapped to sing at Super Bowl XLVIII.
Karin Cooper Courtesy of Washington National Opera

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 4:05 pm

She's probably not among your first, or second, or 10th, or 20th-round guesses, but the NFL just announced that American soprano Renee Fleming will sing the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2.

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globalFEST
7:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Yasmine Hamdan: globalFEST 2014

Lebanese singer Yasmine Hamdan brought her cool, underground electro-pop to globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 3:09 pm

Lebanese singer-songwriter Yasmine Hamdan is an eminently cool addition to the indie-pop landscape. She was the co-founder of the groundbreaking duo Soapkills, which might have been the very first electronic band in postwar Beirut. Now a solo artist and based in Europe after a childhood split between Lebanon, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi and Greece, Hamdan blends new material with reworked traditional songs in a smoky-cool electro-pop setting.

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globalFEST
7:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

The Wu-Force: globalFEST 2014

Banjo master Abigail Washburn, part of an Appalachian-Chinese mash-up called The Wu Force, performs at New York City's Webster Hall as a part of globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 4:00 pm

If you've encountered banjo phenomenon Abigail Washburn before, you might know that she's loved China for a long time. In fact, it was her plan to study law at Beijing University that led her to her chosen instrument a little more than a decade ago: She'd wanted to bring "something American" with her to China and started to learn old-time music — and found her destiny.

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globalFEST
7:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Sergio Mendoza y La Orkesta: globalFEST 2014

Mexican vocalist Salvador Duran's rich baritone was at the front and center of Sergio Mendoza y la Orkesta at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on January 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:57 pm

Imagine the 1950s big-band mambo sound of Perez Prado refracted through the lens of the 21st-century Latino experience in the U.S. That gives just a tiny clue to what's in store during a set with this Arizona band, led by keyboardist, guitarist and vocalist Sergio Mendoza. The group also features the rich baritone of Mexican vocalist Salvador Duran, framed by guitar, keyboard, percussion, drums and, of course, brass.

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globalFEST
7:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Noura Mint Seymali: globalFEST 2014

Mauritanian artist Noura Mint Seymali performs at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:54 pm

Touareg guitar rock, desert blues: Whatever you call it, it's shorthand for a certain style from the Sahara that has triumphed at festivals and venues across Europe and North America, thanks to acts like Tinariwen and Bombino.

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globalFEST
7:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

KiT: globalFEST 2014

Roël Calister and Diamanta von Lieschdeck from Amsterdam's KiT, blending music from Curaçao with house and hip-hop, perform onstage during globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 10:55 am

The Amsterdam quintet KiT twists Afro-Caribbean tradition into an accessible, club-ready style. KiT, or Kuenta i Tambu — "Stories and Drums" — takes music from the Caribbean island of Curaçao, merges it with European dance-floor music and kicks it all into high, sweaty gear.

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globalFEST
7:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Hassan Hakmoun: globalFEST 2014

Moroccan gnawa singer and instrumentalist Hassan Hakmoun, performing live at globalFEST at New York City's Webster Hall on January 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:22 pm

For decades, Hassan Hakmoun has been the foremost ambassador of the Gnawa people and their incredible musical and spiritual traditions. A native of Marrakech, Hakmoun grew up in a Gnawa family, whose ancestors were brought from West Africa to North Africa as slaves in the 15th and 16th centuries. At the center of their spiritual practice is music and dance that fuses Islamic mysticism with sub-Saharan African traditions, particularly in all-night trance rituals meant to praise God and heal bodies and minds.

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globalFEST
7:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Fanfare Ciocarlia: globalFEST 2014

Members of Romania's Fanfare Ciocarlia perform a blazing set during globalFEST at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:57 pm

If any band has figured out how to marry breakneck speed with astonishing chops, it's Fanfare Ciocarlia (pronounced "fan-FAR-eh cho-car-LEE-ah"). With a playlist that veers from traditional Romani (Gypsy) tunes to covers of "Born to Be Wild" and Duke Ellington's "Caravan," this brass band from northwestern Romania has set the pace, literally, for close to two decades.

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globalFEST
7:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

DakhaBrakha: globalFEST 2014

The Ukrainian "punk-folk" band DakhaBrakha brought its singular style to globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 3:10 pm

It's hard to know what to make of Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha when it first arrives on stage — but, oh, those tall, furry hats! But from the first moment the group starts performing, it's hard not to get caught up in the magic it weaves.

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globalFEST
7:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Brushy One String: globalFEST 2014

Playing a single-stringed guitar, the Jamaican artist Brushy One String held court in the intimate Studio space at New York City's Webster Hall during globalFEST on Jan. 12, 2014.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:53 pm

A YouTube sensation whose song "Chicken in the Corn" has received more than four million views, Jamaica's Brushy One String has captured listeners' imaginations with his stripped-down style, as he uses his rich baritone to accompany a beat-up, single-stringed acoustic guitar.

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First Listen
11:00 pm
Sun January 12, 2014

First Listen: The Gloaming, 'The Gloaming'

The Gloaming releases its self-titled debut album on Jan. 20.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 12:02 pm

The prime minister of Ireland showed up for The Gloaming's first gig; that's how big the supergroup's formation has been for fans of Irish music. Here at NPR Music, Bob Boilen and I have been waiting anxiously for the band's first album ever since The Gloaming made its U.S. debut at globalFEST in January 2012.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:58 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Destroyed By Customs? Or Stolen? Whatever Happened, Flutes Are Gone

Flutist Boujemaa Razgui and his colleagues from the ensemble Al Andalus.
Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri January 3, 2014 2:28 pm

A case stirring intense outrage in the classical music community and starting to gain steam in the mainstream press is getting more mysterious by the day.

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Deceptive Cadence
5:07 am
Sun December 22, 2013

Talking Great Teachers And Students With Two Piano Masters

Pianist Lang Lang sits down with his own revered mentor Gary Graffman, to discuss what makes great teachers — and bad ones.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 12:52 pm

The relationship between a teacher and a student can be transformative. It's a particularly important relationship in classical music. A teacher is part mentor, part manager — even a parental figure.

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Best Music Of 2013
8:03 am
Tue December 17, 2013

10 Favorite World Music Albums Of 2013

Magda Giannikou and one of her co-conspirators from her Banda Magda.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 17, 2013 5:54 pm

"World music" can mean pretty much anything. French club tracks. Field recordings captured on remote Pacific islands. Bollywood soundtracks. Argentine tangos. Or, for that matter, pop, traditional, classical or religious music from anywhere on the globe — as long as the lyrics aren't sung in English and the instruments aren't "Western" (unless they are).

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Best Music Of 2013
8:03 am
Fri December 13, 2013

NPR Classical's 10 Favorite Albums Of 2013

Classical albums we loved this year.
NPR Denise DeBelius

Originally published on Thu December 26, 2013 9:42 am

The year may have suffered a couple of black eyes in the form of shuttered opera companies and orchestras in labor disputes, but as far as recordings go, don't let anyone tell you classical music is dying — the music and musicians are thriving.

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Music News
2:14 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Remembering A Congolese Rumba King

Tabu Ley Rochereau performing at a 2003 festival in Hertme, Netherlands.
Frans Schellekens Redferns

Originally published on Thu December 12, 2013 3:39 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
10:08 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Confronting The Ghosts Of Classical Christmas Albums Past

Ah, the holidays: time to enjoy some great seasonal music.
Cagri Ozgur iStock

With the holidays upon us, our friends at member station WQXR invited me along with Washington Post chief classical critic Anne Midgette and Sony Masterworks producer Steven Epstein, the winner of 17 Grammy Awards, to sit down with host Naomi Lewin for a Conducting Business podcast on the topic.

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Deceptive Cadence
3:04 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Hear What Happened At Boston's Symphony Hall After JFK's Assassination

Conductor Erich Leinsdorf has the Boston Symphony Orchestra play the funeral march from Beethoven's Third Symphony after breaking the news of John F. Kennedy's death.
YouTube

Originally published on Sat November 23, 2013 1:43 pm

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Music Videos
8:03 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Britten Goes Back To Brooklyn With Nicholas Phan

Tenor Nicholas Phan and harpist Sivan Magen perform at a group house in Fort Greene, Brooklyn.
Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Mon December 23, 2013 1:21 pm

Composer Benjamin Britten, whose 100th birth anniversary falls on Nov. 22nd, is so deeply associated with his native England that he's on a new 50-pence coin issued by the Royal Mint.

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