Soprano Sylvia Strand, grew up on a small island off the West Coast of Norway. After completing Storfag in Music at the University of Oslo, she moved to Wales in 1998 to study singing, and in 2003, she graduated with a master’s from the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama with a distinction in performance focusing on Messiaen’s song cycles.
During her years in college she won several awards, including the Sir Geraint Evans’ Scholarship, the Elias singing prize for soprano, The E A Redman performance prize, PgDip Year Prize and the Performance Practice Prize.
Sylvia now lives in the Rhondda Valleys and works as a freelance musician and singer. She appears regularly on BBC TV and Radio as a soloist and has also been used as a session singer by major record labels such as Chandos, EMI and Universal Records as well as being used as a studio musician on smaller projects. She has has provided the singing voice to several characters in the BBC’s children’s programme Zoofactor as well as the voice for a Christmas advert for gaming giant Zega.
Sylvia has toured and recorded with internationally renowned stars such as Bryn Terfel, Jose Carreras and Katherine Jenkins as well as running her own opera/jazz ensemble Diva Delight and she is also very much in demand as a composer and arranger. Together with drummer/producer Jon Gregory she composed music for the award winning series ‘Der ingen skulle tru at nokon kunne bu’ for Norwegian Television channel NRK as well as providing music for BBC 2’s Wimbledon coverage. In May 2010 Sylvia represented Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest in Oslo as a part of the band Jon Lilygreen and the Islanders with a song recorded, arranged and produced by Sylvia and Jon. In November 2010, Sylvia and Jon’s composition A posse ad esse reached the final four pieces in the contest for composing the theme for BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year program, along with Muse, The Chemical Brothers and Hans Zimmer.
Sylvia continues to work as a soloist alongside her studio and composition work and as well as providing vocals to Justin Nicholls composition to a film about the earthquake in Haiti, in December 2010 Sylvia was booked by the Norwegian Royal Navy to perform the National Anthem in front of Queen Sonja of Norway at the occasion of the baptism of a new Coastgard Vessel in Oslo.