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This portrait of pianist Leon Fleisher has become part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.
This portrait of pianist Leon Fleisher has become part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

A passion for the piano and painting

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Crane School of Music professor of piano Paul Wyse has mastered two art forms. He's a classically trained concert pianist and also paints portraits. Two of Wyse's recent portraits of pianist and conductor Leon Fleisher have become part of the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian.

He's performed at the piano on the concert stage around the world, and his oil portraits hang in public and private collections and appear in national publications.

So, how does a classically trained concert pianist become an award winning visual artist? "It's hard to explain," says Wyse. But he adds that it's not uncommon for musicians who study the structure of a symphony to use those same skills in the visual arts.

During a visit to his portrait studio in his home near Prescott, Ontario, he told Todd Moe that the mystery of transforming cloth and pigment into something that is looking back at you is powerful, alluring, and part of the compulsion to paint.

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Wyse and his portrait of the Archbishop of Canada and Ottawa, Seraphim.

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Reported by

Todd Moe
Morning Host and Producer

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