Israeli pianist wins the world's most prestigious jazz competition

Written by
Shahni Ben-Haim

Native Tel Avivian, Tom Oren has every Israeli beaming with pride this week.

This past week, it was announced Oren has been awarded first place in the coveted Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition and swept the judges away.

At just 24 years old, Oren has accomplished a tremendous amount of study in the music field. Attending high school in Givatayim at the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts, he led a successful Jazz ensemble that performed across the world.

© GettyImages. Maxime Sanchez, Isaiah Thompson, Tom Oren, and Herbie Hancock are seen on stage during the awards

Post high school he studied at the Israeli Conservatory of Music, the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music and the Arison Campus of the Arts in Tel Aviv before earning a four year scholarship and moving to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music in Boston.

With this recognition, Oren joins the ranks of coveted Israeli Jazz musicians such as Avishai Cohen who claimed third place in the same competition in 1997.

Oren is going to be the last to claim the $25,000 and recording contract with Concord Music Group award under Thelonious Monk’s name as the competition is choosing to honor Herbie Hancock, a distinguished jazz musician, in the future.

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