Edelman, Rubenstein Chill at Nordic Cool Fest: D.C. Scene

Tap for Slideshow
Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstrom, festival co-chairman Barbro Osher, and Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein.

Close
Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstrom, festival co-chairman Barbro Osher, and Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein. Close

Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstrom, festival co-chairman Barbro Osher, and Kennedy Center chairman David Rubenstein.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Regina Myerson, and Roger Myerson, a 2007 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences. Close

Regina Myerson, and Roger Myerson, a 2007 Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Shirley Ryan, a Kennedy Center Trustee, and Pat Ryan, the founder of Aon Corporation. Close

Shirley Ryan, a Kennedy Center Trustee, and Pat Ryan, the founder of Aon Corporation.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Eva Hafstrom, wife of Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstrom, former Chief of Protocol Lucky Roosevelt, and Bonnie McElveen Hunter, former ambassador to Finland. Close

Eva Hafstrom, wife of Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstrom, former Chief of Protocol Lucky Roosevelt, and Bonnie... Read More

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, Sweden's minister for culture and sports. Close

Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, Sweden's minister for culture and sports.

Photographer: Stephanie Green/Bloomberg

Gunnar Kaj, the Nobel florist, recreated his floral centerpieces for the gala. Close

Gunnar Kaj, the Nobel florist, recreated his floral centerpieces for the gala.

Outside the Kennedy Center in Washington last night a riot of blue lasers reminiscent of the northern lights beamed from the building’s walls.

Inside, at the opening of Nordic Cool 2013 festival, White House senior adviser for Internet policy David Edelman and Carlyle Group co-founder David Rubenstein tried to get in to touch with their inner Vikings.

Rubenstein recalled a fishing trip to Iceland with then- President George H.W. Bush.

“It took me three days to catch one fish,” Rubenstein said.

The festival, which runs through March 17, celebrates the cultures of Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Iceland through live performances, films, panels, along with art, fashion and design exhibitions at the Kennedy Center.

Patrick Ryan, the founder of Aon Plc, and his wife, Shirley Ryan, a Kennedy Center trustee, admired a modern wedding dress by Iceland’s Steinunn. There was also a red kayak and a lamp with a horse head.

Swedish meatballs -- presumably without horsemeat -- and herring fritters were served during the cocktail reception. Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstrom said he was feeling homesick and looking forward to returning in June.

The evening was modeled after the Nobel Prize gala dinners held in Oslo and Stockholm.

White tie and tails were requested. Rubenstein was one of the few who followed the dress code.

Red Gown

Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth, Sweden’s minister for culture and sports, said her red gown was a repeat performance from her attendance at the 2008 Nobel dinner.

The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, the Nobel’s official orchestra, played symphonies from a variety of Nordic composers, including Carl Nielsen.

Inside the heated tent for dinner, poppies sprouted from the tables thanks to Gunnar Kaj, the Nobel florist who recreated his centerpieces for last night’s event.

Norwegian chef Morten Sohlberg, who owns a cluster of New York restaurants, oversaw the menu. Norwegian crab, Icelandic lamb with wild Nordic mushrooms and spun maple sugar for dessert were served, while traditional and classical musicians performed.

The Nobel bona fides of the evening were enhanced by the presence of two laureates: Dale Mortensen and Roger Myerson.

A 2007 laureate for economics, Myerson said the evening was as close to the real thing as you can get.

(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)

Muse highlights include Ryan Sutton on dining, Jeremy Gerard on theater.

To contact the writer on this story: Stephanie Green in Washington at sgreen57@bloomberg.net or on Twitter @stephlgreen.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Manuela Hoelterhoff at mhoelterhoff@bloomberg.net.

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.