Grand piano to make ascent by bicycle

Hebden Bridge festival plans to celebrate Tour de France in style

Published: February 10, 2014 at 2:55 pm

Are you a keen cyclist? Do even the steepest of steep hills hold no terror for you when you’re on the saddle? Good.


But would you still be so confident if you had a grand piano in tow?

As a little prelude to the Hebden Bridge Piano Festival in April, such a feat of strength and endurance will be attempted when a grand piano is pulled up one of Yorkshire’s most arduous road climbs… by bicycle.

‘The Grand Departs’, whose title points to the fact that this year’s Tour de France is going to begin in the county later in the year (Le Grand Départ), will see a specially designed piano being pulled from Mytholmroyd to the top of Blackstone Edge, a stretch of road that the event organisers describe as ‘the longest continuous ascent in England’.

It will not be a silent piano, however, as Hebden Bridge Piano Festival director David Nelson is composing music specially designed to accompany the grand on its upward route – renowned pianists who will be tickling the mobile ivories include Kathryn Stott, who lives in the area.


Needless to say, there will be more than one cyclist towing at one time. For details of ‘The Grand Departs’, which takes place on 5 April, click here.


Jeremy PoundDeputy Editor, BBC Music Magazine

Jeremy Pound is currently BBC Music Magazine’s Deputy Editor, a role he has held since 2004. Before that, he was the features editor of Classic CD magazine, and has written for a colourful array of publications ranging from Music Teacher to History Revealed, Total Football and Environment Action; in 2018, he edited and co-wrote The King’s Singers: Gold 50th anniversary book.

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