Special Events

Various Artists

Waiting for the Barbarians


Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue
1 West 53rd Street
New York, NY 10019

Ticket Types

General Admission Ticket (SOLD OUT - Join Waitlist HERE)($65): includes general admission seating (rows T-NN)

Premium Ticket (SOLD OUT - Join Waitlist HERE) ($85): includes GA seating in premium section (rows B-S, and balcony rows), plus hour-long wine & cheese reception in front section of the church


Wine & Cheese Reception (for Premium Ticket Holders):
6:30 - 7:30PM

Concert: 7:30PM - 8:30PM

The concert, and "Archive of Desire": A Festival Inspired by the Poet C.P. Cavafy of which it is a part, is a program developed and funded by the Alexander S. Onassis Benefit Foundation. The festival is curated by composer Paola Prestini.

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the long version

Death of Classical and The Alexander S. Onassis Benefit Foundation present Waiting for the Barbarians, a sprawling, one-night-only exploration of love, loss, lust, and longing centered around the timeless poetry of C.P. Cavafy, set to brand-new music by luminaries like Rufus Wainwright & Missy Mazzoli, Laurie Anderson, Helga Davis & Petros Klampanis, Nico Muhly, Paola Prestini, and more, in partnership with The Knights and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus. Seated amidst the towering Gothic arches of Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, this program of entirely new music will take listeners on a musical journey across genres and sound worlds, with each piece sharing the same question: what do we lose – and gain – when we give away a part of ourselves?

The short version

An epic program of poetic world premieres by some of the biggest names in new music, in one of New York City’s most staggeringly beautiful spaces. Be there.

The Program

The Music

Chandelier (I went) 

Composed by Rufus Wainwright, arranged by Missy Mazzoli
Performed by Rufus Wainwright and The Knights

Cavafy Ghost

Composed by Helga Davis & Petros Klampanis
Performed by Helga Davis, Petros Klampanis, The Knights, and Brooklyn Youth Chorus - Dianne Berkun Menaker

The Return

Composed and arranged by Dimitris Papadimitriou & Nathan Thatcher
Performed by Eleni Calenos and The Knights

Far Away Songs

Composed by Nico Muhly, arranged by Nathan Thatcher
Performed by Eleni Calenos and The Knights


Composed by Paola Prestini
Performed by Brooklyn Youth Chorus - Dianne Berkun Menaker

Waiting for the Barbarians / Ithaka

Composed by Laurie Anderson
Performed by Laurie Anderson, The Knights, and Brooklyn Youth Chorus - Dianne Berkun Menaker

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The Artists