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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.

On Tuesday, journalism and literature Twitter blew up after a user posted a 20-part thread decrying the lack of diversity among writers and editors at one of the most vaunted publications in the country, The New Yorker.

After weeks of tumult at Jeopardy!, Mike Richards has departed from the show altogether. He is the show's erstwhile executive producer and was recently named one of the game show's two new hosts — but stepped down just days after The Ringer detailed sexist and other inappropriate comments he had made in his former role as a podcast host.

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

A woman took the stand at a federal courthouse in Brooklyn during the trial of R. Kelly on Monday. In her testimony, she said that Kelly had forced her into having an abortion in 2017, and that he had sexually and physically abused her over the course of their five-year relationship.

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After 13 years of controlling Britney Spears' finances, Jamie Spears has filed a document in Los Angeles Superior Court agreeing to step down as the conservator of his daughter's estate. The move comes weeks after the singer filed a petition asking that her father be removed from his position, and that he be charged with conservatorship abuse.

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

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 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.

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.

Editor's note: This report discusses charges of sexual assault.

Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein pleaded not guilty to charges of rape and sexual assault in a Los Angeles County courtroom Wednesday. He is accused of sexually assaulting five women in separate incidents that span nearly a decade.

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.

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.

Actor James Franco and two other men have agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit led by Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, former students of an acting school owned by Franco and one of the other men. Tither-Kaplan and Gaal, who filed their suit in Oct. 2020, claimed that they were sexually exploited and victims of fraud at the now-closed school, which was called Studio 4.

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.

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.

Influential choreographer and dancer Anna Halprin has died at age 100. Her art spanned high modernist works and collaborations with artists like John Cage to community-oriented projects that have helped guide people through serious illnesses. Her death was announced by her family; no other details were given.

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!")

Director Antoine Fuqua and actor Will Smith, who together are producing the upcoming 1860s-set film Emancipation, announced Monday that they are moving the film's production out of Georgia due to the state's newly enacted voting laws.

In a statement provided to NPR on Monday morning, Fuqua and Smith said:

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.

James Levine, the immensely accomplished conductor who wielded power and influence in the classical world, and whose singular tenure at the Metropolitan Opera ended in a flurry of accusations of sexual abuse, died on March 9 in Palm Springs, Calif. His physician of 17 years, Dr. Len Horovitz, confirmed his death to NPR, saying that Levine died of natural causes. He was 77 years old.

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.

Singer, songwriter, guitarist and accordionist Flory Jagoda worked hard to preserve the music and language she inherited from her Sephardic Jewish ancestors in her adopted American home. Named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts in 2002, she died on Jan. 29 at age 97 in Alexandria, Va. at a long-term memory care facility, according to an obituary placed by her family.

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.

John Coltrane composed these words in December 1964, as part of a poem he called A Love Supreme.

I have seen God – I have seen ungodly – none can be greater – none can compare to God.

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.

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