DCSIMG

An epic feat of strength and endurance

Dave Nelson at the piano with Tessa Gordziejko (Imove) and sculptor/engineer Andy Plant hauling the Steinway ready for the Tour challenge. Picture: Yorkshire Festival

Dave Nelson at the piano with Tessa Gordziejko (Imove) and sculptor/engineer Andy Plant hauling the Steinway ready for the Tour challenge. Picture: Yorkshire Festival

Imove and Hebden Bridge Piano Festival are delighted to announce that they will be working together in a first-time challenge for Yorkshire Festival 2014 to celebrate the Tour de France’s visit to Yorkshire.

On April 5 a team of cyclists and pianists will take part in The Grand Departs, an epic musical and physical feat of strength and endurance that will answer the question - how many cyclists does it take to pull a grand piano up a hill?

Starting at Mytholmroyd, a team of Calderdale’s most resilient cyclists will pull a grand piano up Cragg Vale Road to the top of Blackstone Edge, the longest continuous ascent on the Grand Départ route. Throughout the climb, local, regional and international pianists will perform a non-stop piano piece especially composed by the Piano Festival’s director David Nelson.

David, who is also Artistic Director for The Grand Departs said: “What better way to welcome ‘Le Tour’ to Yorkshire than with an audacious musical pedaling crazy adventure? This has never been done before – probably for a very good reason – but we’re up for the challenge.”

A bespoke vehicle called the PianoPorté is being designed and built for The Grand Departs by local sculptor and engineer Andy Plant. It will be powered by cycles, using a 2CV gearbox, and will be around 20 feet long.

Local residents will be asked to lend their moral support by cheering on the spectacle and are invited to join in the free send-off event at noon in Mytholmroyd.

The Grand Departs takes place only one week before the start of Hebden Bridge Piano Festival which features performances by Kathryn Stott, Paul Roberts, Noriko Ogawa, Gwilym Simcock, Charles Owen and much more. Tickets are now on sale by post, at the Town Hall, and on line via the Festival website www.hebdenbridgepianofestival.com, where there is also more information about The Grand Departs.

 

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