The pianist Soheil Nasseri gave a wonderful performance in challenging circumstances on Friday night at AMP. (Werner Schuering)

Sometimes you can tell more about an artist from seeing him in adverse conditions than on a night when everything’s going fine. Years ago, the soprano ­Diana Damrau won me over ­forever when she found ways to give a wonderful recital despite suffering from a cold. On Saturday night, the pianist Soheil ­Nasseri had a similar problem: His instrument — a Yamaha piano — couldn’t make the sound he wanted. And like Damrau, he faced the challenge and gave an impressive, expressive performance.

Nasseri was playing at AMP, the newest venue of Strathmore, which opened in Montgomery County in March as part of a new development that combines residential space, office space and pedestrian zones with shops and restaurants in an attempt to create a neighborhood environment (to judge from the throngs dining al fresco in the restaurants Friday night, it’s working). AMP is a venue not unlike the Birchmere, where you can dine at long tables (the food is quite good) while hearing live music, though AMP is smaller and more polished and has an upstairs location with big picture windows taking in views of the sunset over Rockville Pike — which is not as anticlimactic as it sounds in print.

AMP’s acts so far are mainly of the singer-songwriter or jazz-combo or folk variety; Nasseri (who went to high school in the Washington area) is the only straight-on classical performer in this inaugural half-season. He made no concessions to the ­venue in his programming: Instead of shorter pieces, arrangements of pop tunes or contemporary compositions by composers who move fluidly between genres, he opened with the Schubert Sonata in A, D. 959, a work that’s profound, subtle and long; continued with Chopin’s Barcarolle; and concluded with Liszt’s transcription of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Yet he wasn’t uptight in his presentation. “I see that some of you are still eating,” he said when he took the stage. “Well, please chew your food very carefully. Because if you choke, I’m not going to stop.” And after a big burst of laughter from the audience, he sat down and began to play Schubert.

Oh, the piano. AMP is across the street from a Steinway outlet, but a Steinway wouldn’t fit into AMP’s elevator. This left Nasseri contending with a thoroughly unlikable Yamaha: a willfully stupid instrument that refused to do anything when touched beyond plunking out a bright, tinny sound and then swallowing up all of its reverberations, as if unwilling to go beyond the terms of its contract.

For Schubert, this could have been the kiss of death, but ­Nasseri played as if he had a more pliable instrument under his fingers, doing everything he could to create expression. Though the piano wasn’t capable of nuance, he played as if it were. His Schubert was very clear-cut and classical in its approach — to what degree this was influenced by the piano was anybody’s guess — with the broken phrases at the end of the piece getting an extra dash of poignancy, as if the piano were threatening to get the upper hand in his struggles with it, interrupting the sound, until he finally prevailed.

He proceeded with the same authority through the Chopin, in which he managed to make even this piano sing, and the Beethoven, which he imbued with all the authority and majesty the music demands, even though his instrument kept trying to undermine him with raucous bass notes or top notes that sounded like sharp splinters on the ear, and an utter inability to thunder out with anything like the resonance the final movement cries out for. That this was such a fine performance, indeed, says much for Nasseri’s ability; and he ­was rewarded with deserved ovations (and offered a beautiful rendition of Liszt’s “Liebestraum” as an encore).

The evening was a concise illustration of the advantages and pitfalls that classical musicians encounter when venturing outside traditional venues (and I haven’t even mentioned the recorded Mozart symphonies that blared over the speakers whenever the live music wasn’t playing). I hope that the description of it won’t scare other artists or audiences away, because it was also a wonderful and intimate evening — and drew a sizable crowd. This kind of thing shouldn’t supplant the traditional concert experience but can be a valuable supplement to it — certainly when done as well as Nasseri did it.