Bortnick wows during Weidner show; PBS special to air in December

Some 1,300 audience members packed the Weidner Center Thursday (July 11) night for “Ethan Bortnick Live,” the Kress/Mattson Parkinson’s Fundraiser featuring the 12-year-old piano phenom. Supported by guest artists Damian McGinty of TV’s “Glee,” and Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist Jane Monheit — along with a host of local talent — Bortnick delighted the crowd with his musicianship, playing an array of pieces from classical to classic rock, and everything in between. The concert was taped for a PBS special expected to debut in December, with subsequent airings to follow. “Not only were Ethan Bortnick and his guest artists phenomenal, but so were the audience members,” said Weidner Center Executive Director Kate Green. “A tremendous amount of energy filled the Weidner, and those unable to be part of the event last night will have the chance to catch it all on PBS this December.” WBAY, Channel 2 ran a preview story during its 4 p.m. newscast Thursday, featuring event co-organizer Nancy Mattson, thoughts from Bortnick — and a great snippet of the prodigy’s play. See story.