On Wednesday night, the NY Philharmonic dedicated its free concert in Central Park to the victims of the Orlando massacre and their families. Instead of beginning with the scheduled La gazza ladra Overture by Gioachino Rossini, the Philharmonic performed Samuel Barber's devastating "Adagio for Strings," which has been described as "the saddest music ever."

Addressing the enormous crowd gathered in Central Park before the concert, Philharmonic music director Alan Gilbert said, "It's a joyous occasion when we can all gather on such a wonderful night. Unfortunately, the entire country is suffering in the aftermath of the horrific attacks in Orlando a few days ago... We would like to dedicate the concert not just to the memory of the victims but to the idea that we are all part of a shared humanity."

Here's the video.

The Philharmonic performs for free again tonight in Brooklyn's Prospect Park (fireworks to follow). On Monday, June 20th they play in Queens' Cunningham Park, and on Tuesday, June 21st they will be in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. They conclude the free series on Wednesday June 22nd, with a chamber orchestra performing an indoor concert at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden in Staten Island. All details here.