The Musicians Club of New York actively promotes worldwide orchestral performances of contemporary composers. In 1979, the Koussevitzky Foundation chose the Musicians Club of New York to administer the American International Music Fund, Inc., which was funded by Serge Koussevitzky. This fund was established to give recognition to Composers during their lifetime and to encourage the performance and appreciation of contemporary music. KIRA, the annual Serge & Olga Koussevitzky International Recording Award, is given to a living Composer for a recorded symphonic work, scored for not less than sixteen musicians. In addition to the Koussevitzky Foundation, Serge Koussevitzky's wife Olga, who served as President of the Musicians Club from 1962 to 1975, also willed the Club money, which was received upon the death of her niece, in 1991.

From 1963 to 1978, the prize was known as the Koussevitzky International Recording Award, but following the death of Olga in 1978, the award was officially renamed the Serge and Olga Koussevitzky International Recording Award. For many years, especially during its co-sponsorship periods with Musical America, it has come to be known simply as the KIRA. The Musicians Club of New York carries on the award in both Serge and Olga Koussevitzky's honor, as part of the Club's program in support of contemporary musicians.


2007 Roberto Sierra for 
Sinfonia No. 3 “La Salsa”
Frost Symphony Orchestra, Thomas M. Sleeper, conductor; (Albany TROY942)

2006 -William Thomas McKinley for
Concert Variations for Violin, Viola and Orchestra

Glenn Dicterow, violin;
Karen Dreyfus, viola;
Warsaw National Philharmonic Orchestra (MMCR 212)

2004 - Stephen Jaffe for 
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

Gregory Fulkerson, violin;
Donald Palma, conductor;
Odense Symphony Orchestra (Bridge 9141)

1993 - Sofia Gubaidulina for 
Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Gennady Rozhdestvensky (Chandos 9183)

1990 - Luc Ferrari for 
Histoire du plaisir et de la désolation

Orchestra National de France, Michael Luig. (Adda 581156)

1989 - Sofia Gubaidulina for Offertorium
Gidon Kremer, violin; Boston Symphony, Charles Dutoit, conductor (Deutsche Grammophon 427 336-2)

1988 Magnus Lindberg for 

Toimii Ensemble; Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor (Finlandia FACD 372)

1988 Special Citations: 
Barbara Kolb 
for Soundings
Ensemble Intercontemporai, Tamayo (CRI 537)

Olivier Messiaen for 
Saint François D'Assise

Van Dam, Eda-Pierre; Paris Opera, Ozawa, conductor (cybelia CY 833-836)

Sir Michael Tippett for 
The Mask of Time
Robinson, Walker, Tear, Cheek; BBC Symphony and Chorus, A. Davis, conductor (EMI CDCB 47705)

1987 (1) George Benjamin for 
Mind of Winter
Paul Archibald, Penelope Walmsley-Clark; London Sinfonietta, George Benjamin, conductor (Nimbus 5075)

1987 (2) Cristobal Halffter for 
Concerto No. 2 for Cello and Orchestra
Mstislav Rostropovich; Orchestre National de France, Halffter (Erato ECD 75320)

1986 (1) Mark Kopytman for 

Gila Bashari; Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Gary Bertini (Jerusalem ATD 8506, Harmonia Mundi, US)

1986 (2) Witold Lutoslawski for 
Symphony No. 3
Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Esa-Pekka Salonen (CBS Masterworks IM 42203 (d))

1985 Hugues Dufourt for 

Istvan Matuz; Ensemble Intercontemporain, Pierre Boulez, conductor (Erato STU 71544 (A))

1984 (1) Pierre Boulez for 

Ensemble Intercontemporain, Pierre Boulez, conductor (CBS M 37850)

1984 (2) Theo Loevendie for 
Residentie Orchestra, Peter Eötvös (Donemus Composers' Voice 8301)

1983 Philippe Boesmans for 
Violin Concerto

Richard Pieta; Liège Philharmonic, Pierre Bartholomée (Ricercar RIC 014)

1982 Cornel Taranu for 

Cluj Ars Nova Group, Cornel Taranu (Electrecord ECE 01806)

1981 Harrison Birtwistle for 
Punch and Judy

Stephen Roberts and David Wilson-Johnson; London Sinfonietta, David Atherton (Decca Headline HEAD 24/5 (2))

1980 (1) Lucia Dlugoszewski for 
Fire Fragile Flight

 Orchestra of Our Time, Joel Thomer (Candide CE 31113)

1980 (2) Aribert Reimann for 
Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Baritone; Barvarian State Opera; Gerd Albrecht, conductor (Deutsche Grammophon 2709 089 (3))

1979 Brian Ferneyhough for 
 London Sinfonietta; Elgar Howarth
(Decca Headline HEAD 18)

1978 Jesús Villa-Rojo for 
Formas y fases

 Antoni Ros-Marba, conductor (Discos Movieplay 17.1304/0)

1977 Luciano Berio for 
Concerto for Two Pianos

Bruno Canino and Antonio Ballista; London Symphony Orchestra, Berio (RCA Red Seal ARL 1-1674)

1976 Henri Dutilleux for 
Tout un monde lointain

Mstislav Rostropovich; Orchestre de Paris; Serge Baudo (EMI S 37146)

1976 Special Citation: 
Philippe Boesmans 
Intervalles II sur mi
Orchestre Symphonique de Liège (Musica Magna MAG 50 010)

1975 No competition.

1974 Roque Cordero for 
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra

Sanford Allen; Detroit Symphony, Paul Freeman. (Columbia M 32784)

1974 Special Citation: 
John McCabe 
Notturni Ed Alba 
Symphony No. 2

Jill Gomez, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Louis Fremaux (EMI ASD 2904)

1973 Award withheld by the jury.

1972 Seymour Shifrin for 
Three Pieces for Orchestra

 London Sinfonietta; Jacques Monod (CRI #SD 275)

1972 Special Citation: 
Milton Babbitt 
Vision and Prayer 
Mario Davidovsky 
Synchronisms No. 5 (CRI #SD 268)

Charles Wuorinen for 
Chamber Concerto
Group for Contemporary Music, Wuorinen (Nonesuch H-71263)

1971 George Crumb for 
Ancient Voices of Children

Contemporary Chamber Ensemble; Arthur Weisberg. (Nonesuch H-71255)

1971 Special Citations: 
Michael Brozen 
In Memorium
Royal Philharmonic; James Dixon(CRI)

Durke Zsolt for 
Fioriture for Orchestra
Orchestra of Hungarian Radio and TV; Gyorgy Lehel (Hungaraton)

1970 Seymour Shifrin for 
Satires of Circumstance 
Stefan Wolfe for 
Chamber Piece No. 1 
Contemporary Chamber Ensemble; Arthur Weisberg
 (Nonesuch H 71220)

1970 Special Citations: 
Jacob Druckman 
for Incenters,
Frederick Myrow for Songs from the Japanese and
Roger Reynolds for Quick Are the Mouths of Earth
Contemporary Chamber Ensemble; Arthur Weisberg (Nonesuch)

Chou Wen-Chung for Pien
Group for Contemporary Music; Harvey Sollberger (CRI)

Charles Wuorinen for 
Piano Concerto

Royal Philharmonic; James Dixon(CRI)

1969 Roberto Gerhard for 
Concerto for Orchestra

BBC Symphony; Norman Del Mar (Argo R6553)

1969 Special Citations: 
Henry Lazarof 
Structures Sonores

Utah Symphony; Maurice Abravenel (Vanguard MCS-10047)

Gunther Schuller for 
Five Bagatelles

Louisville Orchestra, Jorge Mester(LS-686)

Boris Tishchenko for 
Concerto for Cello

Mstislav Rostropovich, cello; Leningrad Philharmonic; Igor Blazhkov (Melodiya/Angel SR 40091)

1968 Carlos Chávez for 
Six Symphonies

Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional de Mexico; Chávez (Columbia 32-31-002)

1968 Special Citations: 
Harrison Bertwistle 

Melos Ensemble; Lawrence Foster (His Master's Voice - RCA)

Marius Constant for 
Twenty-Four Preludes for Orchestra

Orchestre Philoharmonique de L'O.R.T.F; Charles Bruck (Heliodor)

Hilding Rosenberg for 
The Revelation of St. John

Sveriges Radio Symphonior-kester; Herbert Blomstadt (His Master's Voice - RCA)

Michael Tippett for 
Symphony No. 2

London Symphony Orchestra; Colin Davis (Argo)

1967 Olivier Messiaen for 
Trois Petites Liturgies de la Présence Devine

Yvonne & Jeanne Loriod; Les Choeurs de la Mâitrise; Chamber Orchestra of French Radio; Marcel Couraud (Erato)

1967 Special Citations: 
Tiberiu Olah 
Coloana fara de sfîrsit

Symphony Orchestra of Roumanian Radio; Iosif Contal (Electrecord)

Harvey Sollberger for 
Chamber Variations

Group for Contemporary Music at Columbia U.; Gunther Schuller (CRI 204, SD 204)

1966 Peter Maxwell Davies for 
Leopardi Fragments

as part of the Gulbenkian Foundation's "Music Today" series (EMI ASD 640)

1966 Special Citations: 
Pierre Boulez 
Le soleil des eaux

Roberto Gerhard for 
Symphony No. 1,
Elizabeth Lutyens for 
O saisons, o chateaux
 - additional parts of the Gulbenkian Foundation's "Music Today" series (EMI ASD 640)

Carl Ruggles for Sun Treader
in cooperation with the Naumburg Foundation (Columbia Records MS 6801)

1965 Ingvar Lidholm  for 
Poesis per Orchestra

Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra; Herbert Blomstedt (Swedish Discofil Society LT 33160, SLT 33160)

1964 Witold Lutoslawski  for 
Trois Poèmes d'Henri Michaux pour choeur et orchestre

Polski Nagrania in connection with Festival of Contemporary Music (Muza W871/2)

1963 Edgard Varèse  for 

Columbia Symphony Orchestra; Robert Craft (CBS)