The Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, known for musical events of unusual richness, presented a winning afternoon recital Sunday with violinist Chavdar Parashkevov and pianist Natasha Kislenko.

The young artists excelled in a program of Wieniawski, Prokofiev, Nikolayev and a couple of Gypsy-derived pieces, followed by an encore of sweetly melancholy Bulgarian music. The two are both young, polished and well-matched in artistry and sensitivity.

The first work was Henryk Wieniawski’s Concert Polonaise in D Major, Op. 4, a familiar piece of violin magic in which Parashkevov was the star. He played with ardor and a couple of times almost dancerlike physical involvement. Wieniawski was of Jewish extraction, living in the Polish part of the 19th-century Russian Empire, and just about wrote the book on romantic violin music. He fell in love with a young woman whose parents disapproved of him, so he wrote an exquisite “Legende” that changed their minds.

Next up was Sergei Prokofiev’s Sonata in D Major, Op. 94 bis, written during World War II. This four-section work allowed both musicians to have their glittering moments. The scherzo-presto second movement was especially bold, with the violinist segueing into a brilliant interplay with the pianist. Parashkevov was notably antic and expressive in the final, allegro con brio, movement.

After a brief intermission, the two returned for Leonid Nikolayev’s Sonata in G Major, written in 1903. This piece evoked nostalgia of the best kind, suffused with Russian soulfulness.

The last two programmed works were of the Gypsy persuasion: Maurice Ravel’s Tzigane from 1924 and Pablo de Sarasate’s Zigeunerweisen, Op. 20, written in 1878. Kislenko, in her Slavic-accented English, introduced the pieces as “very passionate” and full of “Oriental color” and indeed they were.

The Russian-born Kislenko, a rising star on the concert circuit, is a member of the keyboard faculty at UCSB, and will teach this summer at the Music Academy of the West. A native of Bulgaria, Parashkevov lives in Texas, and performs with the orchestras of the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Ballet.

In keeping with the concert’s air of old-fashioned glamor and charm, Kislenko wore a street-length black cocktail dress and ankle-strap shoes. Although she and Parashkevov are both quite young, they also have a sense of time and place entirely fitting for their music.

At a reception after the concert, Kislenko said the two plan to repeat the program at venues in other cities.

— Margo Kline covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor.