Stockholm’s Polar Music Prize

A guy who looks a lot like Viggo Mortensen elbows in beside me at the bar and grabs a glass of champagne. He flashes me an electrifyingly white smile and disappears into the crowd. The only kids in the lounge at Stockholm’s dramatic concert hall, survey me, decide I’m not anybody famous, and turn, giggling, to glide behind Mortensen—or his twin brother—as he evaporates into a haze of Scandinavian celebrities. Here, in attendance at...

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Moscow: Magical Mystery Tour

For a moment I am lost in a dream. Sitting at a hand painted eighteenth century table, in a gilded Damask chair that might as well be a throne, I accept a glass of champagne from a man wearing a brocaded, gold buttoned vest, buckled shoes, and velvet knickers. Venetian mirrors reflect two white wigged chamber musicians in elaborate party dresses. Their efforts at their instruments, a harpsichord and golden harp, turn the air dense...

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