Dmitry Sitkovetsky, the group's artistic director, founded the orchestra in 1990, bringing together 20 string players from 10 European countries.
Some were colleagues of Sitkovetsky from his Moscow days, and others were fellow students from the Juilliard School in New York or chamber music partners from European festivals.
Soon after the group was founded, the members spent a few days in intense rehearsal and gave their first performance in Finland's Vaasa Town Hall.
Included in the program was "Souvenir de Florence."
Ever since he had started the group, Sitkovetsky had wanted to transcribe the "Goldberg Variations." In May 1995, Nonesuch records released the complete work, transcribed by Sitkovetsky and performed by the New European Strings.
That summer, the group gave the work its U.S. premiere at the Seattle International Festival.
In June 1995, the BBC Music Magazine awarded five stars to Sitkovetsky's "Goldberg Variations." The critic wrote: "Sitkovetsky's transcription, which fully exploits the music's potential for textural variety, offers an abundance of fresh insights. ... Overall, Sitkovetsky's own authoritative playing and deftly balanced control of different instrumental groupings creates a compelling performance that is attractively presented. ..."
A pre-performance discussion, led by Daniel T. Politoske, professor of music and dance, will be at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 16 in the Oldfather Warm-Up Room at the Lied Center.
Tickets, on sale at the KU box offices, are $22 and $18 for the public; $11 and $9 for KU, Haskell Indian Nations University and K-12 students; and $21 and $17 for senior citizens and other students.