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
11:25 am
Thu March 20, 2014

In The First Violins — At Least For One Night

Conductor Jeffrey Grogan led a motley — but very happy — assembly of professional, student and amateur musicians at the New Jersey Symphony's #OrchestraYou project in Newark, N.J. Saturday.
Fred Stucker Courtesy of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 7:24 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
10:21 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Bless You!

Sometimes, you just can't overcome nature.
iStock

We've all been there: You try (and try, and try) to hold back a sneeze, and nature prevails.

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First Listen
10:03 pm
Sun March 16, 2014

First Listen: Yasmine Hamdan, 'Ya Nass'

Yasmine Hamdan's album Ya Nass comes out March 25.
Shervin Lainez Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 1:12 pm

If you think you know what Middle Eastern music sounds like, think again — because Beirut-born electro-pop singer Yasmine Hamdan is positioning herself in an incredibly interesting place. She's singing at the intersection of sexy electronica and iconic Arab tradition, fed in equal parts by PJ Harvey and the legendary Syrian-Egyptian vocalist Asmahan.

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Music Articles
7:03 am
Fri February 28, 2014

Music Takes Center Stage In Oscar-Nominated Documentaries

Egyptian singer-songwriter Ramy Essam, in the heady early days at Tahrir Square in 2011.
Mark LeVine Courtesy of the artist

Originally published on Fri February 28, 2014 9:06 am

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Music
12:58 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Latitudes: International Music You Must Hear Now

The artist from Belgium known as Stromae poses in Paris in July 2013.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 11:59 am

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Deceptive Cadence
10:42 am
Wed February 19, 2014

We Love Him For More Than Twizzles: Charlie White Plays Violin, Too

Ice dancing champions Meryl Davis and Charlie White visit the set of the NBC TODAY Show in Sochi on February 18, 2014.
Scott Halleran Getty Images

It's no secret that gold-winning American ice dancers Meryl Davis and Charlie White have become favorite faces in Sochi. But it turns out that the charming White has done his share of woodshedding along with his hard work on the ice.

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Field Recordings
7:28 am
Wed February 19, 2014

On A Chilly Factory Floor, Yuja Wang's Piano Sizzles

Mito Habe-Evans NPR

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 9:16 am

Chinese-born pianist Yuja Wang isn't one to do anything in half measures. So when we invited her to record a performance in a room at the Steinway & Sons piano factory, she showed up in Queens that frigid morning with her A game.

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Deceptive Cadence
2:25 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Sex, Drugs And Wandering Batons: Classical Musicians (Finally) Get Some Screen Time

Gael Garcia Bernal stars in the pilot of Mozart in the Jungle as a hyper-charming young conductor on the rise.
Courtesy of Amazon

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 4:08 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
7:03 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Fiddler On The Slopes

Violinist-turned-Olympian Vanessa-Mae checks out her fellow skiers in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 10.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Thu February 13, 2014 4:08 pm

Classical music has managed to take center stage at sports events in the last few weeks. Soprano Renée Fleming sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl two weekends ago.

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First Listen
10:02 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

First Listen: Tinariwen, 'Emmaar'

Tinariwen's new album, Emmaar, comes out Feb. 11.
Marie Planeille Courtesy of the artists

Originally published on Fri February 7, 2014 2:35 pm

  • Hear All Songs Considered Hosts Bob Boilen And Robin Hilton On 'Emmaar'

How do you build on the reputation that has made your band the most visible ambassador of an entire people? For its seventh international album, Emmaar, Tinariwen has some striking ideas that were born out of both creativity and absolute necessity.

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Deceptive Cadence
1:29 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

4 Ways To Hear More In Music

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 12:55 pm

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Deceptive Cadence
2:34 pm
Mon January 27, 2014

Watch Musicians Elevate A Trip To A Big-Box Store

Courtesy of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra

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Deceptive Cadence
1:53 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 2:55 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
1:48 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 3:05 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
6:18 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

What Makes globalFEST So Interesting?

Devo meets Davy Crockett: a member of the furry-hatted Ukrainian "folk-punk" band DakhaBrakha onstage Sunday during globalFEST at New York's Webster Hall.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 21, 2014 7:40 am

Every January, there's a one-night music festival in New York that showcases artists from around the world. It's called globalFEST, and it's been happening for more than a decade. Over the years, it's become a place for American tastemakers to find new talent from Europe, Africa, Asia and beyond.

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globalFEST
6:02 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 3:00 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
6:02 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 3:57 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
6:02 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 3:54 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
6:02 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 9:55 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
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 — 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" — all, of course, in costume — might make a newcomer think the shtick is more enjoyable than the music.

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globalFEST
6:02 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Baloji: globalFEST 2014

Congolese-Belgian artist Baloji started his globalFEST set at New York City's Webster Hall on Jan. 12, 2014 in high fashion — but by the end, he was working hard in rolled-up shirtsleeves.
Ebru Yildiz for NPR

Originally published on Wed June 18, 2014 11:03 am

What happens when an artist mixes the suavity of Congolese rumba, the sweat and funk of James Brown, lilting soukous guitar, the visual flair of the sapeurs and the sensibilities of 21st-century hip-hop? The charismatic Congolese-Belgian singer Baloji has one answer.

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globalFEST
6:02 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 2:09 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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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
7:58 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 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 — 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 — 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 — as long as the lyrics aren't sung in English and the instruments aren't "Western" (unless they are).

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