Sheppard to conduct Tour de France opening

British conductor and composer Philip Sheppard will lead the orchestra and chorus of Opera North at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Tour de France.

The ceremony will take place at the Leeds Arena this Thursday, and will precede the Yorkshire Grand Départ.

Sheppard, who has previously arranged and composed music for both the London 2012 and Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, will perform new work inspired by the sounds of cycling.

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The orchestra will also accompany Yorkshire band Embrace, who is headlining the event.

Sheppard has scored 25 feature films, and as a cellist, has worked with the likes of David Bowie, Jarvis Cocker and Jeff Buckley. He is widely-known for using electronics in conjunction with classical music.

The Tour de France opening ceremony will also feature singer/songwriter Alistair Griffin and French singer Pauline Vasseur.

The ceremony takes place on 3 July.