Smithsonian Collections

Leon Fleisher in performance with the Syracuse Symphony

Image for Leon Fleisher in performance with the Syracuse Symphony
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Exhibition Label
Born San Francisco, California
Leon Fleisher carved out a brilliant concert and recording career before his right hand became disabled in 1965. Thereafter, he concentrated on the left-hand repertory and also established a successful conducting career. He has also excelled as a teacher. Fleisher joined the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in 1959 and later held the Andrew W. Mellon Chair in piano. In 1985 he became artistic director of the Tanglewood Music Center. In 1995, Fleisher regained the use of his right hand and now plays a limited repertoire of bimanual works and continues to perform works for the left hand. His portraitist, Paul Wyse, is also a classically trained concert pianist. In 2009, Wyse observed Fleisher conducting the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra of New York in rehearsal while sitting amid the orchestra; the resulting sketches formed the basis for this painting.
The artist; gift 2011 to NPG
Paul Wyse, born 1970
Leon Fleisher, born 23 Jul 1928
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the artist
Oil on linen
Stretcher: 53.3 x 121.9 x 2.2cm (21 x 48 x 7/8")
Frame: 53.3 x 121.9 x 1.9cm (21 x 48 x 3/4")
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Music\Musical instrument\Piano
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Beard
Interior\Performing Arts\Concert hall
Human Figures\Musician\Orchestra
Leon Fleisher: Male
Leon Fleisher: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Pianist
Leon Fleisher: Performing Arts\Performer\Musician\Conductor
Leon Fleisher: Society and Social Change\Physically disabled
Restrictions & Rights
© 2011 Paul Wyse