Secret Garden (duo)

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Secret Garden
Rolf Løvland & Fionnuala Sherry
Rolf Løvland & Fionnuala Sherry
Background information
OriginNorway and Ireland
GenresClassical, Celtic, Nordic folk, New age
Years active1995–present
MembersFionnuala Sherry
Rolf Løvland

Secret Garden is an Irish-Norwegian band specialised in new instrumental music, led by the duo consisting of Irish violinist and singer Fionnuala Sherry and Norwegian composer, arranger and pianist Rolf Løvland.[1]

The group came to fame when they won the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest, representing Norway with the composition "Nocturne". In the course of a partnership lasting over 25 years, they have sold millions of albums worldwide, many of which went platinum in numerous countries.


Eurovision Song Contest[edit]

The group won the Eurovision Song Contest for Norway's second time in 1995 with the composition "Nocturne". It was the only time that a predominantly instrumental piece has won the Eurovision Song Contest, although a few Norwegian lyrics, written by screenwriter Petter Skavlan, were included to ensure that the entry adhered to the contest's rules. Norwegian singer Gunnhild Tvinnereim sang the song in the Eurovision Song Contest, with Hans Fredrik Jacobsen on penny whistle and Swedish nyckelharpist Åsa Jinder guesting on the occasion, although none of them are regular members of the group. Ten years earlier, Rolf Løvland wrote the song "La det swinge" (Let it swing) that secured Norway its first Eurovision Song Contest victory in 1985.[1][2]

Debut album[edit]

Their success at Eurovision spearheaded the success of their first album Songs from a Secret Garden. It sold a million copies around the world going platinum in Norway and Korea, gold in Ireland, Hong Kong and New Zealand and spending two years in the Billboard new-age charts in 1996 and 1997. Barbra Streisand adapted "Heartstrings" from this album as the song "I've Dreamed of You" on her A Love Like Ours album. She also used "Heartstrings" in her wedding to James Brolin.

Further albums[edit]

Their sophomore album White Stones followed in 1997, and also made the top ten on Billboard New Age charts. Dawn of a New Century was released in 1999 as their third studio album, and again featured lyrics by Norway's Petter Skavlan. Their 2001 studio album Once in a Red Moon also enjoyed success around the world, including reaching Billboard's new-age top ten.

A compilation album, Dreamcatcher, was released in 2000. Secret Garden released a Dreamcatcher: Best Of album for its tour through Australia and New Zealand in 2004, and this reached the top of the Australian New Age charts and the ARIA top 50 album charts.

After several other albums, they released their tenth album, Storyteller, in 2019.[3]

Notable songs[edit]

Secret Garden's most famous song "You Raise Me Up", originally performed by Johnny Logan and Brian Kennedy, has been recorded by more than a hundred other artists including Josh Groban, Russell Watson, Westlife, Sissel Kyrkjebø, Becky Taylor, Celtic Woman, Lena Park, Robert Tremlett, Il Divo, Rhydian, and Sergio Dalma.

"Nocturne" won the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest. Their piece "Adagio", with a cor anglais solo, was used in the Wong Kar-wai film 2046 which was released in 2004.[4]

Autobiographical book[edit]

In 2015, Secret Garden published a book titled You Raise Me Up: The Story of Secret Garden co-written by Rolf Løvland with Fionnuala Sherry. The book tells their story of their triumphs as well as the trials and tribulations they endured along two decades.


Studio albums[edit]

Year Album Peak posit. Certification
NOR[5] USA New Age[6]
1996 Songs from a Secret Garden 1 5
1997 White Stones 6 7
1999 Dawn of a New Century 10 4
2002 Once in a Red Moon 2 2
2005 Earthsongs 9 1
2007 Inside I'm Singing 1
2011 Winter Poem 5 5
2013 Just the Two of Us 6 7
2019 Storyteller 6 7

Live albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Certification
2016 Live at Kilden 18[7]

Compilation albums[edit]

Year Album Peak positions Certification
1998 Fairytales 18
1999 Highlights 30
2000/2004 Dreamcatcher: Best of Secret Garden
  • UK version (2000)
  • US version (2001)
  • Australian tour edition (2004)
2004 The Ultimate Secret Garden (Asia)
2018 You Raise Me up – The Collection

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b Thompson, Dave. "Secret Garden Biography". Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  2. ^ Bergh, Johs. "Melodi Grand Prix". Store Norske Leksikon. Kunnskapsforlaget. Retrieved 12 December 2012.
  3. ^ Anna J. Park (31 May 2019). "Celtic-Nordic duo Secret Garden talks about musical roots, new album "Storyteller"". Korea Times. Retrieved 31 August 2021.
  4. ^ 2046 (Special Features: The Music of 2046). Wong Kar-wai. Culver City, CA: Sony Pictures Classics. 2006 [2004]. 11730LTR.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  5. ^ a b c "Secret Garden discography". Hung Medien. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  6. ^ "Secret Garden Chart History". Retrieved 10 July 2014.
  7. ^ "GFK Chart-Track". Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Preceded by Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by