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'Cool' Swedish artists descend on US capital

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'Cool' Swedish artists descend on US capital
10:00 CET+01:00
An opera singer diva, a celebrity florist, and a "folklore" crime novelist from Sweden are set to swarm Washington, DC starting Tuesday as part of 2013 Nordic Cool, a festival highlighting artistic accomplishments from Sweden and its regional neighbours.

"I hope that Nordic Cool helps Nordic performers, artists and cultural workers to reach a wider international audience," said Swedish Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Liljeroth in a statement.

One of the creative heavyweights in attendance during the festival, taking place in and around the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, is Johan Theorin.

The Swedish novelist has penned three mysteries spun out on Öland, each one set in different seasons on the exposed Baltic island.

"Theorin envisions as a quartet in which the weather and landscape of the island affect the characters' stories," the Swedish embassy noted in its presentation of the respected author whose work they said was inspired by Swedish folklore.

The Nordic Cool festival has also roped in a celebrity florist - Gunnar Kaj, who has decorated the Nobel feasts for 13 years. He was also invited by the Swedish post office to design the official Christmas stamps in 2008 and will be talking about his work in Washington, DC on February 23rd.

The musicians in attendance run the gamut from an opera superstar, mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter who will take the Kennedy Centre stage on March 4th, to Swedish-Senegalese husband and wife duo Sousou and Maher Cissoko, who will share their Swedish Griot tunes two days later.

A series of seminars will also be ongoing throughout the festival, covering Sweden's angle on topics such as architecture, the environment, technology, and health care, to name a few.

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