Born in Rishon LeZion, Israel, in 1937, he is fourth generation member of founders of the town. A graduate of the Israel Rubin Academy of Music in Tel Aviv, where he studied composition with Alexander Uriah Boskovich and Paul Ben-Haim, and piano with Emma Gorochov.
His compositions include symphonic works, concerti, chamber music, choral music and songs, music for theater, for feature and documentary films.
Shimon Cohen began his career as a composer, arranger, pianist and conductor in 'Kol Israel' ('The Voice of Israel') Radio. His songs and arrangements have become staples of the Israeli music scene. His works have been performed in the USA, Europe and Israel by leading orchestras, including the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra (IBA), the Boston Pops, the Los Angeles Symphony, the London Symphony, the Santa Barbara Orchestra, the Guatemala Orchestra and others, under the baton of renowned conductors, including himself.
Shimon Cohen is a recipient of the 1998 'Eilam' and 'Eshkolot' Prize for life achievement, and was awarded the Tel Aviv Municipality Engel Prize in 2001.