16 year old pianist raises money for worldwide charities

The child prodigy supports global efforts for music and the arts

Sixteen-year-old piano sensation Ethan Bortnick is quite the philanthropist. He tours to raise money for charities across the globe. Recognized by the Guinness World Records as “The World’s Youngest Solo Musician to Headline His Own Concert Tour,” Bortnick has raised more than $50 million for charities worldwide and has even had three concert specials on PBS in the United States.

Bortnick’s TV specials are part of his efforts to rally public support for music and the arts. With funding for public broadcasting in limbo, the need for that support is greater than ever. Out of the public eye, Bortnick is no less committed to this noble cause, traveling to area schools during concert tours and encouraging children to embrace music and the arts.

“Every time I do the autographs, a lot of kids say after this concert, ‘Now I believe that anything is possible and I can play football or I can draw or I can do this or I can do that,’” he says. “I feel good because now they’re actually going to try.”

Bortnick has earned various distinct honors for using his music to help others, such as the USO’s “Next Generation of Hope Award” and an Emmy nomination for his PBS TV show, Ethan’s Music Room, which teaches kids about music and the performing arts. He has graced the cover of Esquire Magazine and also has the distinction of being the youngest entertainer to headline in Las Vegas.

The young prodigy has also co-written the soundtrack and played the leading role in Anything Is Possible, a film that explores issues like homelessness, military family life and adoption. This has earned him the nod of being the youngest actor to star and write the soundtrack for a film.

Bortnick has performed alongside some of the biggest names in the business, including Elton John, Barbara Streisand, Beyoncé, Celine Dion, Katy Perry, Andrea Bocelli, Justin Bieber, Tony Bennet, Miley Cyrus and Josh Groban among many others. He’s also made memorable TV appearances on Oprah, Good Morning America and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. None other than 28-time Grammy Award winner Quincy Jones remarked that “Ethan’s imagination and ability to create music from stories is unbelievable.”

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