You might think you know the classical music scene in London, but I’ll bet that there are any number of concerts going on around the city that would take you completely by surprise. This was one of those for me: I had never been to St James’s Church, Paddington before, even though it’s clearly a very fine concert venue, and I’m afraid the two musicians performing – illustrious though their pedigrees are – were new to me as well. The high quality and enthusiastic reception of the event were a testament to the depth of classical music in the capital: we can moan about audience numbers all we like, but maybe we’re just looking in the wrong places.

The concert, organised by the MCS Young Artists Fund, featured Finnish organist Kalevi Kiviniemi and Georgian violinist Liana Isakadze. She may not have the same sort of foothold in the western European concert circuit as so many violinists today, but that’s not to say that she isn’t just as worthy of attention: she is a favourite player of David Oistrakh’s who served as his assistant for two years and has since founded an academy in his name in Ingolstadt, Germany. Isakadze’s playing has a clear mid 20th-century glint to it, with generous helpings of vibrato and a full, warm sound. She evidently relishes taking to the stage.

Isakadze performed twice this evening, giving two stalwarts of the violin repertoire: Bach’s D minor Partita in the first half, and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in the second. That she never combined with Kiviniemi was a disappointment of the programming, but these two monumental pieces are still impressive enough to take on within a single concert. Her Bach playing had little of the clean, “historically informed” edge that contemporary listeners might expect, instead going down a more traditional, Romanticized road. The Chaconne was forcefully presented, oozing passion and grandeur, but also with all the great technical control that the piece demands. It was an impressive, audience-pleasing rendition.

So was her Beethoven, in which she likewise adopted a richly 19th-century style, accompanied very effectively by a group called the London Soloists Philharmonia. She conducted as well as played, and evidently knows precisely how to get the best out of an orchestral string section. The focus stayed on Isakadze, however, and her performance had a great authority to it, the slow movement particularly emotional.

The contribution of Kiviniemi was heard either side of the first half’s Bach performance, and offered some more unusual repertoire choices, the Widor Toccata aside. Liszt’s Un sospiro, originally a concert étude for piano, worked well for the most part on its new instrument, even if the piano’s capacity for soft playing was conspicuously absent in places. Kiviniemi played the pieces by Marcel Dupré and Léon Boëllmann with great technical facility as well, though it was the closing Barcarole by Sibelius that stood out most. The piece begins simply and sweetly, but evolves in any number of fascinating ways, and Kiviniemi delivered the whole thing with precision and care. He is apparently the first organist to have recorded all of Sibelius’ organ music – his affinity with this music is very clear. The church’s organ, moreover, was a treat to listen to.

This concert was billed as “Legend Meets Legend”, and it was something of a shame that these two legends didn’t actually meet on stage until their bows at the concert’s conclusion. But both performers made a good case for their status as legends, and the huge, vocal numbers in attendance seemed to agree. I wonder what else London is hiding from me.