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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globalFEST
6:02 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 4:22 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
6:02 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 3:57 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
6:02 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 2:10 pm

It's hard to know what to make of Ukrainian band DakhaBrakha when it first arrives on stage โ€” 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
6:02 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 3:53 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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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

The Bombay Royale: globalFEST 2014

Vocalists Shourov Bhattacharya and Parvyn Singh from The Bombay Royale, performing live Sunday during globalFEST at Webster Hall in New York City.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 3:55 pm

It's not often that a band composed of stock characters can be a successful live act, so one that boasts "The Mysterious Lady," "The Tiger" and "The Skipper" โ€” all, of course, in costume โ€” might make a newcomer think the shtick is more enjoyable than the music.

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First Listen
10:00 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 11:02 am

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
7:52 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 1:28 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
4:07 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 รขย€ย” and bad ones.
Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue December 24, 2013 11:52 am

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 โ€” even a parental figure.

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Best Music Of 2013
7:03 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 4:54 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 โ€” 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
7:03 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 8:42 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 โ€” the music and musicians are thriving.

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