Anastasia Tsioulcas

Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.

On happier days, Tsioulcas has celebrated the life of the late Aretha Franklin, traveled to Havana to profile musicians and dancers, revealed the hidden artistry of an Indian virtuoso who spent 60 years in her apartment and brought listeners into the creative process of composers Steve Reich and Terry Riley.

Tsioulcas was formerly a reporter and producer for NPR Music, where she covered breaking news in the music industry as well as a wide range of musical genres and artists. She has also produced episodes for NPR Music's much-lauded Tiny Desk concert series, and has hosted live concerts from venues like the Metropolitan Museum of Art and New York's (Le) Poisson Rouge. She also commissioned and produced several world premieres on behalf of NPR Music, including a live event that brought together 350 musicians to debut a new work together. As a video producer, she created high-profile video shorts for NPR Music, including performances by cellist Yo-Yo Ma in a Brooklyn theatrical props warehouse and pianist Yuja Wang in an icy-cold Steinway & Sons piano factory.

Tsioulcas has also reported from north and west Africa, south Asia, and across Europe for NPR and other outlets. Prior to joining NPR in 2011, she was widely published as a writer and critic on both classical and world music, and was the North America editor for Gramophone Magazine and the classical music columnist for Billboard.

Born in Boston and based in New York, Tsioulcas is a lapsed classical violinist and violist (shoutout to all the overlooked violists!). She graduated from Barnard College, Columbia University with a B.A. in comparative religion.

Dusty Hill, bassist for the enduring Texas blues rock band ZZ Top for over half a century, has died at age 72. The trio's other members, Billy Gibbons and Frank Beard, announced Hill's death in a Facebook post. Gibbons and Beard said that Hill had died in his sleep at his home, but did not provide a date.

Britney Spears' recently installed lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, submitted a blistering 120-page petition to Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, arguing that the singer's father, Jamie Spears, needs to be removed from overseeing her financial affairs immediately.

Britney Spears' recently named lawyer, Mathew Rosengart, promised when he came aboard on July 14 that he would act speedily towards setting a new course for the pop icon and her conservatorship. On Monday, he filed a petition on Spears' behalf with Los Angeles Superior Court asking for Jason Rubin to be named as the new conservator of her estate. If approved, Rubin would replace Spears' father, Jamie Spears, who has controlled her money and financial decisions since 2008. Rosengart has also filed a petition asking for Jamie Spears to be removed from his position.

Editor's note: This report includes allegations of sexual assault and physical abuse.

Federal prosecutors are seeking to have evidence of what they say are more alleged, but uncharged, crimes committed by R&B singer R. Kelly admitted at his upcoming trial in New York. The allegations include the abuse of teenage girls and women dating as far back as 1991, the sexual abuse of a 17-year-old boy, physical abuse, hush payments and bribery.

Famed musician Eric Clapton said on Wednesday that he will not perform in any venue that requires audience members to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

"Following the PM's announcement on Monday the 19th of July 2021, I feel honor bound to make an announcement of my own: I wish to say that I will not perform on any stage where there is a discriminated audience present," Clapton wrote.

Japanese musician Keigo Oyamada, who performs under the name Cornelius, has resigned from the Tokyo Olympics after being criticized on social media for having bullied children with disabilities while he was himself a student.

In court Wednesday, Britney Spears was represented for the first time in her 13-year conservatorship by a lawyer she herself had chosen: Mathew Rosengart.

On Wednesday afternoon, Britney Spears' conservatorship case will be back in front of a judge at Los Angeles Superior Court. This is the first return to court after Spears herself spoke to the judge last month, pleading for her 13-year conservatorship to end.

You might not know the late Armenian musician and composer Jivan Gasparyan by name, or even by the name of his instrument. But you've almost certainly heard his duduk, shifting between keening wails and exuberant shouts, in movie soundtracks and scores ranging from The Last Temptation of Christ to Gladiator.

Updated July 2, 2021 at 6:49 PM ET

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge confirmed Friday that she will soon hear a petition filed by Bessemer Trust, a wealth management firm, to remove itself as a planned co-conservator of pop icon Britney Spears' financial dealings.

A Los Angeles Superior Court judge signed an order Wednesday denying Britney Spears' request to have her father, Jamie Spears, removed from the financial aspects of her conservatorship.

Pop star Britney Spears hasn't been in charge of her personal life or her finances for 13 years — that's how long she has been in a court-dictated legal arrangement called a conservatorship.

But on Wednesday, the artist will be speaking directly, albeit from a remote location, to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge about her situation. What exactly she intends to say in her appearance and what her goals might be are anyone's guess.

On Tuesday, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced its newest class of National Heritage fellows: 9 individuals and groups who represent the richness and breadth of America's folk and traditional arts.

This year's class of fellows includes artists and creators from African-American, Mexican-American, Native, Filipino, Irish-American and Puerto Rican backgrounds, whose array of mediums span many kinds of music, ribbon and lace work, tap dance and filmmaking.

One of the real vocalists behind the fake pop act Milli Vanilli has died. South Carolina-born singer John Davis was 66 years old and died Monday of COVID-19. His death was announced on Facebook by his daughter, Jasmin Davis.

Updated May 26, 2021 at 1:04 PM ET

On Wednesday, Howard University announced that it has named its newly reestablished College of Fine Arts after one of its most famous alumni: the late actor Chadwick Boseman. News of the school's naming broke in The Washington Post.

Just last week, the internet thrilled to The Linda Lindas, screaming and crunching power chords in the middle of the stacks of the Los Angeles Public Library. "Racist, Sexist Boy" — written and performed by four tween and teen punks calling out anti-Asian American bias and misogyny — immediately became something of a 2021 anthem. ("Poser! Blockhead! Riffraff! Jerk face!")

Updated March 26, 2021 at 4:37 PM ET

Larry McMurtry, a prolific, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Oscar-winning screenwriter, has died at age 84. He was beloved for riveting and yet unsentimental depictions of the American West in books such as Lonesome Dove as well as for tales of family drama including Terms of Endearment.

It's almost time to raise the curtains again in New York City, says mayor Bill de Blasio. In a press conference Thursday morning, de Blasio said that he expects Broadway and off-Broadway shows to reopen by September, and that he plans to facilitate that target date. "Broadway needs to come back, and we will move heaven and earth to bring Broadway back," he said. New York City's theaters have been shut down for more than a year, since Mar. 12, 2020.

Singer, songwriter and percussionist Bunny Wailer, an icon of reggae music, died in Kingston, Jamaica, on Tuesday morning. He was 73 years old. Wailer was a founding member of The Wailers, alongside Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.

His death was reported initially by Jamaica's Observer newspaper, which said that he had been unwell since enduring a second stroke in July 2020.

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It has been 13 years since singer Britney Spears, now 39, was placed under a legal conservatorship that removed her control over her own finances, career and well-being. In a hearing Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Judge Brenda Penny continued that arrangement — but overruled her father's objections to a third party, Bessemer Trust, having been established as co-conservator of her estate.

This story was updated at 9:28 p.m. ET on Thursday, Feb. 11.

The keyboardist, composer and bandleader Chick Corea — one of the most revered figures in contemporary jazz, but an artist whose work spanned fusion to classical — died on Feb. 9 at age 79.

The family of legendary singer Tony Bennett — a staple presence who introduced generations to the American songbook and pop standards — says he has Alzheimer's disease.

Singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman has won her case against hip-hop star Nicki Minaj over Chapman's claims that Minaj took her work without permission.

According to documents filed in U.S. District Court in California's Central District on Thursday, Chapman has accepted Minaj's offer of judgment in the case, and she will receive $450,000 from Minaj. As a result, the two have avoided going to trial.

The 2021 Grammy Awards ceremony has been postponed, due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. The Recording Academy announced on Tuesday that the ceremony will not take place on Jan. 31, as previously scheduled, but is instead being pushed off until March 14.

French jazz pianist, bandleader and composer Claude Bolling, whose work spanned jazz clubs, the big screen, and Carnegie Hall, died Tuesday at the age of 90. His death was announced by his representatives.

The musician FKA twigs filed suit against her ex-boyfriend, actor Shia LaBeouf, on Friday, accusing him of abusing her "physically, mentally and emotionally" during their nearly year-long relationship which began in 2018.

Barnett filed a civil suit against LaBeouf Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court. On one occasion, she alleges in the suit, he choked her, threw her against a car while screaming at her.

Updated at 6:50 p.m. ET

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres announced Thursday that she has tested positive for the coronavirus. The Ellen DeGeneres Show has been shut down until January.

Nearly 60 years after writing such counterculture classics as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Like a Rolling Stone," Bob Dylan has sold his entire songwriting catalog — more than 600 songs — to Universal Music Publishing Group in a deal announced Monday morning by Universal.

Jazz Standard, a perennial favorite New York City venue for musicians and fans alike, has shut its doors. It is the first major jazz club in the city to close permanently due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The basement club first opened in 1997, but was re-opened in 2002 along with a sister barbecue restaurant upstairs, Blue Smoke Flatiron, as the city staggered back to its feet in the aftermath of Sept. 11. Both the club and the restaurant are owned by restaurateur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group.

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