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International touring musician Ethan Bortnick opens the 2016-17 Artist Series of performances at the Alan Jay Wildstein Center for the Performing Arts at South Florida State College on Saturday, Nov. 19, 7 p.m.
Recognized by Guinness World Records as “The World’s Youngest Solo Musician to Headline His Own Concert Tour,” 15-year-old Bortnick has been performing around the world.
“Every show is different,” Bortnick said. “I never really know what’s going to happen. I love making the audience happy. Typically, I have a lot of audience interaction and bring people up onstage.”
The Lake Placid High School Chorus, under the direction of Edward Hong, will perform with Bortnick.
Ticket prices range from $24 to $29 to $33. Children and student tickets are $10. Groups of 12 adults or more save 15 percent and receive one free ticket for the group coordinator. To view a performance video or buy tickets online, visit www.sfscarts.org or call the Wildstein Center Box Office at 863-784-7178.
When he was three years old, Bortnick, a Florida native, asked his parents for piano lessons and discovered an uncanny ability to hear a song once, then play it back note-for-note. He soaked up the music of artists and composers as varied as Beethoven, Mozart, jazz pianist Bill Evans, Little Richard, Billy Joel, and Elton John. He began creating original compositions at age five. A few years later, Bortnick started making television appearances and touring, connecting with audiences in Japan, Brazil, Canada, South Africa, and Australia.
“This is a return engagement for Bortnick,” said Cindy Garren, director of Cultural Programs at SFSC. “He wowed the audience when he was here a few years ago, and we’ve had many requests for his return. We’re lucky to get a date with him because he travels around the world and sells out in major markets.”
Bortnick’s successful nationally televised TV show “The Power of Music” has been the number one show during the Public Broadcasting Service’s 2014 and 2015 pledge drives and is still running nationwide, winning multiple awards.
Bortnick has appeared on national television shows, including several episodes of “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Good Morning America,” and “The Oprah Show,” when he was named one of “Oprah’s All Time Smartest, Most Talented Kids.”
Audience members can meet Bortnick prior to the performance when the Wildstein Center holds its popular Backstage Scoop, an informal 20-30 minute talk that gives audiences members a glimpse behind the scenes. The Backstage Scoop is scheduled for 6 p.m., in the SFSC Museum of Florida Art and Culture (MOFAC). Seating is limited, so arrive early to get a seat.
The Wildstein Center Box Office is open Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Patrons can order tickets online 24 hours a day.
SFSC presents more than 30 national and international touring artists at the 1460-seat Alan Jay Wildstein Center and the 250-seat SFSC University Center Auditorium located on the SFSC Highlands Campus, 600 W. College Dr., Avon Park. Upcoming performances include “Miracle on 34th Street,” Dec. 1; the Beach Boys, Dec. 11; Flying Horse Big Band, Jan. 10; and The Bronx Wanderers, Jan. 12.