South-African contralto Sybil Michelow was born in Johannesburg on 12 August 1925. After studies at Witwatersrand University, she studied piano in London with Franz Reizenstein and singing with Mary Jarred. She made her debut as a singer in the 1950s in London, and sang Rule Britannia at the 1968 Last Night of the Proms. Wilfred Josephs and Malcolm Williamson both wrote large-scale works for her.
She taught singing at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London from 1956 to 1958.
As a composer, she wrote incidental music for two Brecht plays, and for Children's Stories with music for the South African Broadcasting Corporation.
Sybil died in London on 5 January 2013, aged eighty-seven.