Berklee student Tom Oren, 24, won the 2018 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz International Piano Competition at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., earlier this month. The first-place prize includes a recording contract with the Concord Music Group and $25,000 in scholarship money, according to the Institute.
Oren performed “Just One of Those Things” and “Just as Though You Were Here” for the competition. After winning, he and other prominent jazz figures performed Miles Davis’s “Walkin’.”
Hailing from Tel Aviv, Oren is a double major in film scoring and performance, according to Berklee. Prior to his college career, Oren attended the Thelma Yellin High School of the Arts, the Israeli Conservatory of Music, and the Rimon School of Jazz and Contemporary Music. He also played in the Israeli Air Force band during his military service.
Monty Alexander, Joanne Brackeen, Cyrus Chestnut, Herbie Hancock, Jason Moran, Danilo Pérez, and Renee Rosnes were among the judges at the competition. Isaiah Thompson, of West Orange, N.J., and Maxime Sanchez, of Toulouse, France, came in second and third place, respectively.