The Orfeo Duo Vita notes

What A Neighborhood!

What a Neighborhood! celebrates the creative spirit in Morningside Heights, West Harlem, and Bloomingdale primarily through the music of living local composers. In our 13th season, we create worlds together, playing with possibilities and building lasting communities and works of art.

We would love to get to know you. Please call us at 212-222-2101, or email us at, or better yet, introduce yourself at one of our events. See below for details.

Please bring your friends & family, meet the neighbors, & introduce us to folks we should know, especially composers for our map of neighborhood composers! We are looking to get to know and celebrate composers, improvisers, and songwriters of all ages, colors, and musical stripes!

Love, Vita & Ishmael Wallace
& the Board: Elizabeth Adams, Betsy Blachly Chapin, Janet Dorman, Peter Homans, & Nailah Nombeko
“Imaginative, creative, and sparkling events that create community.”
“Thank you for a lovely, stimulating evening. It was real treat!”
Creating worlds together
New Worlds By Phancy’s Pencill Drawne
Friday February 27 at 7 pm
Hostelling International NY
891 Amsterdam Avenue (between 103rd & 104th Streets)

A time-travelling journey inspired by one of the earliest science-fiction novels: Margaret Cavendish's The Blazing World.
Music by
William & Henry Lawes  & poetry by Katherine Philips from the 17th-century English Royalist world. Music for viols by our neighbor Robinson McClellan exploring old & new tuning systems, Jay Alan Zimmerman’s magical musical video pieces, & short stories by neighbors.

Dana Maiben & Vita Wallace, baroque violins
Hayden DeWitt, mezzo soprano
Parthenia, a consort of viols
Lady Margaret Cavendish

Legendary Worlds
Sunday March 8 at 1:30pm
St Mary’s Episcopal Church
521 West 126th Street
(1/2 block west of Amsterdam Ave.)
Suggested donation: $10
Wheelchair accessible

Music evoking realms of the imagination. World premieres by David Loeb, David Shohl, Ishmael Wallace, & Laurence Goldman with music by Octavio Vazquez inspired by the ancient traditions of Japan, Galicia, the Aztecs, the Middle East, & the Native Americans of the Plains.
David Loeb, shinobue
Laurence Goldman, bass
Neighborhood Composers Chorus
St Mary’s Gospel Choir
Orfeo Duo
Octavio Vazquez
Planet 12 & Other Worlds
Wednesday April 22 at 12:15 pm

Columbia Faculty House
Enter via gate on north side of 116th Street
between Amsterdam Ave & Morningside Drive

Immersion in the music of Laurence Goldman: visionary jazz inspired by serialism & Native American music.
(More performances TBA....)

Laurence Goldman, bass, & the Orfeo Duo

The World of Faery
Saturday May 16, time TBA

102-103 Streets Block Association Yard Sale
103rd Street between West End & Riverside

A fairy tale for dancing children by Nailah Nombeko & Maria Espona. Bilingual:English & Spanish 

Ascension & Lourdes Churches Cultural Center
Orfeo Duo
Flute & Oboe TBA

Nailah Nombeko

Into the Body of the Light: The Two Worlds are One
Saturday October 3 at 5 pm
Roerich Museum
319 West 107th Street
(near Riverside)


The world premiere of Morningside Sketches by Peter Homans with music by Elizabeth Adams & Steven Siegel & poetry by Naomi Replansky & William Carlos Williams highlighting the sublime within the everyday.

Orfeo Duo
Stephanie Corwin, bassoonist

Naomi Replansky
For more information, call 212-222-2101, email, or visit
Szymanowski's Journey Home
Friday evening December 4
at the Lethe Lounge
Please RSVP to or (212) 222-2101 for the exact address and time.


In the story of Karol Szymanowski, the great Polish composer, we see universal themes: the longing to discover one’s true home, the struggle to reconcile imagination and actuality. Szymanowski’s journey brought him to North Africa and Sicily, to newly independent Poland, and to the Goral mountain people of southern Poland’s Tatra mountains.

Ishmael plays Metopes, inspired by the Odyssey, and Mazurkas from opp. 50 and 62; Carol Weber improvises on the Turkish ney, and Vita and Ishmael play Goral melodies arranged for violin and piano.

Monday February 2 at 7:30 
“Where might Arcadia be found or made?”

April 29th at 7:30
“What holds things together?”

Thursday August 6 at 7:30 pm
"What is our experience of Space?"

Monday October 12 at 7:30 pm
"What is our answer to Fate?"

More to come!

You are warmly invited to these extra-ordinary gatherings,
each revolving around an interesting question,
with music, conversation, & food.

For more information including the addresses, RSVP to 212-222-2101
or Contributions are most welcome & benefit What a Neighborhood!’s other programs.
The Orfeo Duo
615 West 113 Street #33
New York NY 10025
Phone: 212-666-0928

What a Neighborhood! 2015 is made possible by the generosity of friends and neighbors: artists, volunteers, supporters, arts and community organizations & businesses, and by the sponsorship of The Field and the 102-103 Streets Block Association. Made possible in part by public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and in part with public funds from the Fund for Creative Communities, supported by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

© The OrfeoDuo 2015