Vikingur: I’ve done 69 days quarantine in 11 months

Vikingur: I’ve done 69 days quarantine in 11 months


norman lebrecht

August 12, 2021

The Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson has been talking to Sky News:

‘What would usually be a one or two-day trip often became a seven-day trip or nine days or something like that. In the beginning it was quite luxurious almost because the airports were completely empty, you always had the seat row [on the plane] for yourself…’

One psychological thing that’s very interesting is that when you have so much time in quarantine, you start to feel a bit like persona non grata in society,” he says. “You start to feel a little bit like poison, like you are not to be touched. Which is true, in a way.” Isolation at a hotel in Norway was strict. “I basically stayed in my room and I was allowed one walk a day. It’s interesting how your notion of freedom completely changes when you go through this again and again and again. The psychological impact is hard to describe.”

Meals were served three times a day. “It was a very nice hotel but they had a quarantine menu for us in the quarantine wing, and that was more like bad hospital food. They would knock on my door and leave the tray on the floor and I would open it and see them sort of running away.”

More here.

Was yours worse?


  • A.L. says:

    Poor soul. Contrast his fate to that of the nearly 4.5 million worldwide, and counting, whose freedom has also been inconvenienced by that fate of fates: death. Perspective, context and introspection would do him good.

    • Marfisa says:

      Did you read the article? He and other musicians are describing their experiences, not complaining about them. It would do you good to be less judgmental.

    • A. D says:

      Considering quarantines have been proven an ineffective measure against covid, I think you should be the one in need of serious introspection.

      • Saxon says:

        I am not sure where you got the idea that quarantines are ineffective. They will limit the spread of the virus between the two locations by limiting contact between them. Of course, if both places already have the virus, then quarantine won’t do anything much.

  • Marfisa says:

    Could a news item about Víkingur Ólafsson not have slipped in the information that he is performing at the BBC Proms on August 14th, with Paavo Järvi and the Philharmonia? (No doubt after any necessary quarantine.)

  • Pianoman says:

    Maybe he should just stay home in Iceland and stop feeling sorry for himself. It’s all about his career isn’t it? He’s not even the worst self-promoter out there.

  • Jean Dean says:

    Sounds like he needs new management to advise him better! This can partially be avoided with some better planning…