Nils Sylvest studied with professor Erling Blöndal Bengtsson at the Danish Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen. He has also participated in masterclasses with Mstislav Rostropovich. In 1980 he joined the DR National Symphony Orchestra (Danish Radio), and has on several occasions performed as a soloist with both the Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra. He has given concerts in Denmark and abroad, including England, France, Belgium and the Scandinavian countries.
1984–1988 Nils was a member of Den Danske Kvartet. He is a recipient of the Jacob Gade prize and the Anmelderringens artist award.
Nils plays on a cello made in 1811 by Giovanni Gagliano. It was converted in 1982 especially for Nils’ left-handed playing.