At 8 p.m. Friday in The Granada, the Community Arts Music Association will present a concert by the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, with international sensation and pianist Lang Lang as guest star.

On the orchestra’s program are three works: Sergei Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1 in D Major, Opus 25, called the “Classical”; Wolfgang Mozart’s Concerto No. 17 in G Major for Piano and Orchestra, K. 453; and Ludwig Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Opus 92 — about two hours, that is to say, of the most beautiful music ever written, played by an orchestra of the world’s finest musicians younger than age 27. One might say this concert sells itself.

In the 1940 film The Ghost Breakers, Bob Hope plays a character named Larry Lawrence. “My middle name is Lawrence, too,” he explains to co-star Paulette Goddard. “My parents had no imagination.”

I doubt Lang Lang acquired his name in a similar manner. Regardless, it couldn’t have impeded his meteoric rise through a crowded field of talented virtuosi with more complex, harder to remember cognomina. It helps, too, that he is a brilliant and charismatic musician. It is also a great boon for us that the conductor, Maestro Eschenbach, is himself a dazzling pianist.

During the 19th century, the words “Schleswig-Holstein” stood for a veritable Gordian Knot of international controversy. Denmark, Prussia and the Austro-Hungarian Empire all claimed the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein. Diplomacy failed. Wars were fought. Of the confused situation, the august Lord Palmerston once reflected: “Only three people have ever known the rights of the Schleswig-Holstein business — one’s dead, one’s gone mad and I’ve forgotten.” Fortunately, the success of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra allows us to put all of the other associations behind us.

Concert tickets are available from the Granada box office at 1214 State St. or 805.899.2222, or click here to purchase them online.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributor. He can be reached at