A photo of a Guthman judge's note pad, taken from behind his shoulder as he writes.



Each year we invite international experts in music technology to judge the Guthman Competition. They spend time learning about our finalists' work, asking key questions about the designs, and sharing perspectives with the music technology community. 

Some judges, like performance artist Laurie Anderson, jazz guitarist Pat Metheny, hip hop musician Young Guru, and Dream Theater keyboardist Jordan Rudess have used new technologies in performances and recordings to captivate audiences all over the world.

Others, like Technical Grammy Award Winner Roger Linn, synthesizer pioneer Tom Oberheim, and Cycling 74' Founder David Zicarelli have created new hardware and software that have changed the way we make music.

Many of our judges, like Stanford professor Ge Wang, McGill professor Marcelo Wanderley, and London University of the Arts reader Rebecca Fiebrink have conducted groundbreaking research that set the foundation for technical and design innovations in the music industry.

2023 Judges

Athan Billias headshot

Athan Billias

President, MIDI Association

Kris Bowers headshot

Kris Bowers

Award-winning film score composer & pianist

Morwaread Farbood headshot

Morwaread Farbood

Associate Director of Music Technology, NYU

Athan Billias

Athan Billias has spent his entire life focused on music, technology innovation and MIDI. After graduating from Wesleyan University with a degree in Jazz Composition, he spent 10 years as a professional musician playing keyboards and flute as musical director for the Platters and playing and writing original music with Jerry Martini from Sly and the Family Stone.  He worked in retail music stores as sales manager for EU Wurlitzers in Boston and then started a long career working for digital music instrument manufacturers.   
He was the product planning manager for Korg Inc. in Tokyo, Japan during the development of  the Korg M1, the best selling hardware synthesizer of all time.  As Vice President of IVL Multimedia , he licensed MIDI controlled vocal harmony technology to Yamaha, Brother, Ricoh, and Sega for their ISDN network MIDI based commercial karaoke systems. In 1998 he joined Yamaha and was involved with the development and voicing for every Yamaha synthesizer from the S80 to the Montage. After retiring from Yamaha in 2020, he joined the MIDIable team. MIDIable is a live cloud based content creation engine that provides the best of both worlds: real time MIDI enabled multi-user/multi-camera streaming control and full resolution multi-track recordings ready for post-production editing directly in any non-linear video editor.

He is the current President of the MIDI Association and has been on the executive board of the MIDI Association for over twenty years.  He helped develop the annual MIDI Innovation Awards which give a platform for MIDI innovation and rewards products, prototypes, installations or concepts that are thought-provoking and inspire new, creative use cases of MIDI.

Kris Bowers

Kris Bowers is an award-winning film score composer and pianist known for his thought-provoking playing style, creating genre-defying film compositions that pay homage to his classical and jazz roots. Bowers has composed music for film, television, documentary, and video games collaborating with musicians and artists across genres, including Jay Z, Kanye West, Kobe Bryant, Mahershala Ali, Justin Simien, and Ava DuVernay. His works include The Snowy Day (for which he won the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Direction and Composition in 2017), Dear White People, Green Book, When They See Us, Black Monday, Madden NFL 20, Mrs. America, Bridgerton, Bad Hair, The United States vs. Billie Holiday, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Respect, and King Richard. In 2018, Bowers scored Monsters and Men, which premiered at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival. Bowers’ work also appeared in Ava DuVernay’s Netflix miniseries, When They See Us, which was given an Emmy nomination for Original Dramatic Score in 2019. Bowers’ original music and lyrics are featured in Madden NFL 19: Longshot, as well as the Madden 2020.

In 2020, Bowers received an Emmy nomination for Original Dramatic Score for his work on the Netflix series, Mrs. America. In 2020, Bowers also co-directed the documentary short film, A Concerto is A Conversation, with documentary filmmaker Ben Proudfoot. The film, a New York Times Op-Doc –executive produced by Ava DuVernay, premiered at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival and was an Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary (Short Subject) at the 93rd Academy Awards. In 2021, Bowers also received Emmy nominations for Original Dramatic Score and Original Main Theme Music for his work on the Netflix series, Bridgerton.

Morwaread Farbood

Morwaread Farbood employs an interdisciplinary approach, drawing from methodologies in the fields of music theory, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, and computer science. Her research focuses primarily on the real-time aspects of music listening, in particular how emergent phenomena such as tonality and musical tension are perceived, in addition to computer applications for facilitating musical creativity that are based on cognitive models.

Farbood is currently Associate Professor and Associate Director of Music Technology at New York University in the Department of Music and the Performing Arts Professions, Steinhardt School. She is a member of the NYU Music and Audio Research Lab (MARL) and the Max Planck/NYU Center for Language, Music, and Emotion (CLaME). Her leadership helped found the Northeast Music Cognition Group with colleagues at NYU and Yale. From 2017-2018, Farbood was a Radcliffe Fellow in Computer Science at Harvard University.


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