THE first surprises yesterday came from the Komitas String Quartet.

Playing the little-known and immensely appealing music of their native

Armenia to a packed house at Glasgow University, their performances drew

huge applause.

Next, in walked councillor James Jennings, convener of Strathclyde

Regional Council, carrying a birthday cake which he presented to the

four members of the group.

The players in the Komitas Quartet, named after a leading figure in

Armenian music, are celebrating the 65th birthday of the group, which

has worked through generations of personnel. They are in Scotland as

part of New Beginnings, the festival of contemporary Soviet arts in