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.

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

It's been six weeks of hearing from alleged victims, former employees and expert witnesses. Now the jury decides what's next for R. Kelly.

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

Federal prosecutors rested their case in the trial against R&B star R. Kelly today.

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.

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

Greek composer and politician Mikis Theodorakis died Thursday at age 96. A notice on his website cited cardiopulmonary arrest as the cause of death. Theodorakis' music for the film Zorba the Greek became a worldwide shorthand for a seize-the-moment kind of joyfulness.

However, Theodorakis endured a lot of tragedy — and he was a much more complicated person than Zorba the Greek and its most famous song, a carefree dance, would suggest.

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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Updated August 18, 2021 at 4:56 PM ET

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

Testimony has started as Day 1 of R. Kelly's federal trial winds down.

Kelly is being accused of a wide array of crimes: sexual exploitation of a child, bribery, kidnapping, forced labor and sexual trafficking across state lines. Kelly has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

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

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 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.

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.

Officially, the Olympic Games begin on Friday, Jul. 23 and run through Sunday, Aug. 8 — and for all the armchair athletes out there, the biggest thrill is tuning in to watch the excitement.

For an American audience, NBC continues to have a lock on all things Olympic. Events will air across many NBC properties, including NBC, USA, CNBC and Golf Channel, as well as on Peacock (NBC's streaming platform), the NBC Sports app and on NBCOlympics.com.

A ride at Disneyland that used to feature racist, colonialist depictions of Africans now emphasizes slapstick monkeys and chimpanzees besting clueless tourists instead.

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.

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.

During a hearing on Wednesday at Los Angeles Superior Court, Britney Spears asked the judge to be released from the literal control of her father, through a conservatorship that has dictated her life for the past 13 years.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

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.

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