Ory Shihor is an award-winning pianist, educator, arts administrator and entrepreneur. Mr. Shihor was the founding Dean of Colburn Music Academy recognizing the need to support highly talented, pre-college-age students who seek to continue their music studies at a conservatory level.
He is currently a piano professor at both the Colburn Music Academy and the Colburn Conservatory. His teaching strategies have transformed the playing of hundreds of students over the course of his 20-year career, making him one of the most sought-after and well-respected piano teachers and mentors in the world.
But it didn’t start out this way…
After a rapid succession of events during his teens, which included studies at the Curtis Institute, winning the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the coveted Gina Bachauer prize while a student at Juilliard, Ory’s career as a pianist was taking off at a rapid pace. He soon found himself in the midst of a whirlwind of major concert debuts, solo and orchestral tours, recordings and ultimately representation by one of the world’s most prestigious classical artist agencies, Columbia Artists Management.
However, not having been mentored to handle the rapid success coupled with having to return to his homeland in order to complete his military service, brought Ory’s career to a complete halt. Upon his return to New York from the military, Ory found himself broke and in desperate need of a breakthrough. He spent several years working odd jobs (busboy, waiter, furniture mover) while practicing at nights and completely reinventing himself as a pianist. During this humbling experience, the conscious and at times, painful process of looking deep within his own playing led him to become a much better pianist and a stronger person.
During this journey, Ory resurrected his playing career, which led to winning the Washington International Piano Competition and a major prize at the Arthur Rubinstein Master Piano Competition.
He also discovered teaching and realized that based on his own ability to create change within himself, he could help students overcome anything. His life’s passion has become helping young students reach a breakthrough in their playing, believe in themselves and achieve a winning mindset as they reach for their goals and dreams. Since then, he has changed the lives of hundreds of students, helping them get accepted to top US music schools, universities, and conservatories.
Ory lives in Los Angeles, California, where he pursues his passions for cars and mountain biking. He lives with his wife, Maria, and their cat, Fester.
Ory Shihor is an award-winning pianist, educator, arts administrator and entrepreneur. As an educator and arts administrator, he was the founding Dean of the Colburn Music Academy recognizing the need to support highly talented, pre-college-age students who seek to continue their music studies at a conservatory level. Mr. Shihor was the creator and director of Colburn Piano Festival, which attracts applicants from around the world to its two-week summer immersion program.
As a teacher, Mr. Shihor currently serves on the piano faculty of the Colburn Conservatory. His students have won top prizes in numerous international competitions such as Naumburg (US), Hilton Head (US), Piano Campus (France), James Mottram (UK), Paloma O’Shea Santander (Spain), Böesendorfer and Yamaha USASU (US), Virginia Waring (US), Aspen Music Festival (US), Mondavi (US) and Long Thibaud Crespin (France).
Students of Mr. Shihor are also regularly featured on prominent radio programs such as From the Top (National Public Radio) and Performance Today (Minnesota Public Radio). Read more about Ory Shihor’s Student Success and Testimonials.
In 2015, he founded Piano Talent, Inc, which offers online and in-person training for highly gifted pre-college piano students. In 2017, the company introduced the Piano Talent Performance Academy, an elite performance training program based in Los Angeles.
Mr. Shihor has conducted master classes in many leading music conservatories and universities including Northwestern University Bienen School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, Boston Conservatory, Boston University, Lynn University, Royal Northern College of Music (UK), Shanghai Conservatory (China), Beijing Central Conservatory (China) and Seoul National University (Korea).
Mr. Shihor served on the juries of the 2012 James Mottram International Piano Competition (UK), the 2016 Arthur Rubinstein Junior Piano Competition (China) and the 2017 Virginia Waring International Piano Competition.
As a soloist, Mr. Shihor is a winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, a prize winner of the Ninth Arthur Rubinstein International Piano Master Competition and the first prize winner of the Washington International Piano Competition.
Mr. Shihor’s performances include recitals at the Kennedy Center and the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., as well as at the 92nd Street Y and the Frick Collection in New York City. His other appearances have included the Ravinia Music Festival, the Newport Music Festival and the Chautauqua Music Festival in addition to recitals across North America. In eight critically acclaimed concerts in Los Angeles, Mr. Shihor performed Beethoven’s entire 32-sonata cycle.
Among his extended engagements with orchestras, Mr. Shihor appeared as the featured guest soloist with the Liège Royal Philharmonic of Belgium on its 15-concert North American tour, under music director Pierre Bartholomée. His international concerts have included appearances in Germany, Korea, Spain, Israel and the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland.
Born in Tel Aviv, Israel, Mr. Shihor was a recipient of America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarships from the age of 12. At 15, he came to the United States to study with Jorge Bolet at the Curtis Institute of Music and later graduated from the Juilliard School in New York, where he received the prestigious Gina Bachauer Prize. He earned his Master of Music degree from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. His other teachers have included Emanuel Krasovsky, John Perry and Russell Sherman.
In January 2018, Mr. Shihor’s play, ‘Last Thoughts: Schubert’s Final Works’, written by Hershey Felder, will debut at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. thewallis.org/ory
Mr. Shihor is a Bösendorfer and Yamaha artist.