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How André Rieu handled a very human crisis

December 20, 2016 by norman lebrecht

148 comments.


Now it can be told.

On Saturday morning at 5am, the trombonist Ruud Merx – a star of André Rieu’s Johann Strauss Orchestra – suffered cardiac arrest in his sleep.

Ruud was rushed to hospital in Leeds in a critical condition and Saturday’s concert in Nottingham was cancelled.

On Sunday morning, with no change in Ruud’s condition, André and members of the orchestra agreed to call off the rest of the tour. Ruud and his wife Alina Lin Jong are long-standing, popular members of the ensemble.

They have two children, both in their teens.

André arranged for the shocked family to come over from Holland. He then set in motion the procedure for Ruud to be transferred back to his home country, where Ruud remains in a coma.

The orchestra have been told that there is little hope of recovery, but they continue to pray for Ruud.

As do we all.

Ruud’s identity and condition have been published here with consent.


Comments (148)

  1. Kathy Garratt says:

    How very sad and understandable that the rest of the tour is cancelled there is no way you could perform a happy Xmas concert under the circumstances.We were still on a high after the concert in Leeds when we heard the sad news. Our thoughts are with you all at this very sad time .

    1. Nomey Keidar says:

      Very sad for Rudd and for all Andre Rieu Orchestra..and family…I wish him a speedy recovery.. I love the music and what Andre Rieu has done to Straus music and all music..we hope to see you next year..wish you would all come to Israel..
      May God bless you all. Thank you for Andre Rieu for taking care of his musicians and family.
      Nomey and Yona Keidar

    2. Margurita Esson says:

      It is so, so sad. As followers of Andre, we feel we know the Orchestra so well.
      We pray for Ruud and his family at this very sad time. Right now we are watching Andre on Sky Arts, tonight looking back on ‘How it all began’ .

    3. Gail Roberts says:

      RIP Ruud you will be sadly missed by Andre your fanmily and everyone who knew you. You were talented and passed away far to soon. My thoughts and prayers are with LinJong and your children. Hope you will carry on your fun and music in heaven RIP again my dear Ruud Gail

    4. Sandra Hopper says:

      I never knew I could be so deeply affected by the loss of someone outside of my family but I am so affected by the passing of this lovely member of the orchestra.
      My heart goes out to his family and colleagues. May you rest in peace Ruud.

    5. Susan Ham says:

      Dear Alina-Lin, Oscar and Lisa, to all the members of the JSO
      and Andre, this is such terrible tragic news. I offer you all my sincere condolences, and pray God will sustain and comfort you all at this very difficult time. May Ruud rest in peace. He will be greatly missed.
      <3 <3 <3 <3

  2. Loretta kuhn says:

    Prayers for Ruud.

    1. Mark Bradshaw says:

      Our prayers are with you we wish Ruud a speedy recovery

  3. Carole O'Ryan says:

    We are disappointed but understand, we will look forward to march concert, and our prayers are with Ruud and his family.

    1. Mandy Fishburn says:

      Fair play like I said never been to a show before but seen rudd and believe me wow come on mate get through this think music music x x Mandy

  4. Valerie Glynn says:

    Seen him many times , very talented man I wish him well

  5. Chris cheesman says:

    Very very sad great guy our fingers are crossed for him and his family

  6. Margaret booth says:

    Margaret booth So very sorry to hear the sad news ,but how kind of Andre to see the gentleman safely back home we wish him well

  7. Angela Allen says:

    Whilst there’s breath there’s hope. Prayers for all at this hard time

  8. Sue welsh says:

    So very sad to here this news and very understandable that the tour was cancelled. We had the great pleasure of seeing you all in Newcastle last Wednesday and it was a fantastic show. Our thoughts and prayers are with Rudd and his family and with the whole orchestra at this very sad and difficult time

  9. patricia rigby says:

    so very very sad, fight on Ruud, come back to us,

  10. June Still says:

    Prayers for Ruud that he finds the strength to recover and for Lin and the rest of the family during this very difficult time.

  11. Mavis says:

    Get better Ruud keep fighting so we can once again hear the beautiful music from the jso
    my prayers are with you and your family wake up and come back to us xx

  12. Tony and Jean Petter says:

    We were going to tonight’s concert in London. We completely understand why the rest of the tour has been cancelled and our thoughts, love and prayers are with Andre and all of the Johann Strauss Orchestra, staff and especially with Ruud Merx and his family at this tragic time. God Bless you all, We will see you in March,.Tony and Jean.xxx

  13. LornaM says:

    So So sad. Wonderful that Andre has organised the family coming over and the transfer of Ruud back to his home time

  14. Clive says:

    Very sad news
    I was at concert in Leeds and enjoyed every moment .
    I was totally shocked on hearing news the following morning.
    My prayers and thoughts are with Rudd his family and also JSo.
    I pray he makes a safe recovery .

  15. Anne and David says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all

  16. Jackie and Barrie Lem says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Ruud and his family god bless you all

  17. Vivienne Pratt says:

    A heartbreaking situation for Andre Rieu and my thoughts and prayers are with him and Ruud and his beloved family.
    Thank you Norman Lebrecht for your sensitive and thoughtful Posts.. Vivienne

    1. Rosalie McGregor says:

      So sorry to hear the sad news of Ruud he is a great musician and love his sense of humour. I am praying for his recovery as the show would not be the same without him there. Andre will be sad and my heart also goes out to him and the rest of the orchestra.
      God please help Ruud with a speedy recovery ….xoxox

      1. Wendy says:

        Who said the show must go on ???

  18. Gina Wagner says:

    There are 13 married couples in this orchestra, many members have been with Andre over 20 years and some 30 years. Almost half the orchestra is married to each other. That’s a long time to be working together, travelling the world together as friends, and loving each other and working/practicing/creating music together on a consistent professional level. Longer than many marriages these days. I keep reading they are like family so I hope this explanation suggests more insight to explain away the callous saying, the show must go on. No, I agree the concerts stop because these fine people are hurting so bad for their friend and colleague. Money and fans can patiently wait.

    1. Susan pickup says:

      Well said .

    2. Sonja says:

      13 couples??? Who??? I only know of 4. My love and best wishes to Ruud, Lin, Oscar and his sister. Love to Andre and the JSO family, wait as long as you need. We love your music and can wait until you can play it again with your heart, which right now is I am sure with Ruud and his family.

      1. Bob Frost says:

        Who says there are 13 couples in the Orchestra? Why Andre himself in one of his special Xmas programmes for Sky!

    3. Margaret Hood says:

      WELL SAID!!!! They are family!!!! Any one who thinks that the show must go on is NOT a fan. Lets pray that Ruud makes a full recovery. xx

    4. Finbarr says:

      Totallly agree with your comments.

    5. Martin Ramby says:

      Beautiful comments Gina. I agree fully. We have been fans of Andre Rieu for years and have been lucky enough to attend two of his concerts. They give their audiences a truly amazing evening. A life long memory.

      Andre Rieu put family ahead of monetary gain, very refreshing in this greedy world. I’d expect nothing less from him. Good people.

      Our thoughts and prayers are with the Merx family and the entire orchestra family.

    6. Evelyn Fordyce says:

      What a wonderful way to put how all the fans are feeling about this news – we can all wait – Ruud comes first – we are all praying for him and his family x

    7. Mark Radford says:

      Well said Gina, I echo every word.
      I was saddened to hear about the news concerning Rudd. My thoughts are very much with his wife and children through this difficult time.
      My thoughts also go to his family and friends who are part of the entire JSO. It must have been an honour to share special moments and build some wonderful memories over the years.
      He was take away from this world far too early, somethings just do not make sense.
      Rudd was a fantastic musician and will be missed by so many.
      God Bless Rudd and thank you for the joy and all the smiles and laughter that you created over the years.
      R.I..P and rise in glory.

  19. Phillip Gee says:

    Well said

  20. HELEN BARCROFT says:

    BLESSINGS TO ALL

  21. Vanessa keegan says:

    So San for Ruuds family and the JSO, my thoughts and prayers are with you all xx

  22. Carol Derham says:

    Prayers and good wishes for Ruud and family and of course all in the JSO.

  23. Susan Nichols says:

    Cancellation was the right and a heartfelt decision . The warmth and closeness of you all is obvious with every performance you give. You must all be devasted. With good wishes to Ruud and his family and to Andre and JSO his extended family.xx

  24. Sheila Barley says:

    So sorry to hear this sad news. My thoughts and best wishes to Ruud and his family at this difficult time, also to all the members of the JSO. XX

  25. Ali J says:

    Thoughts and prayers for Ruud and his family. Keep fighting Ruud

  26. Dusty Coleman says:

    Our prayers are with you and your family.

  27. Stephen Harman says:

    Our prayers are with Ruud and his family, and the rest of your orchestra at this tragic time. His antics with the trombone on stage have amused us many times.
    God be with you Ruud.

  28. Carol Brown says:

    Sending all our love and wishes to Ruud and family, including Jso as they are one big family. Hoping so much to have news of his recovery.

  29. Jeff & Pauline says:

    We were still on a high after seeing the JSO in Dublin on Thursday and were brought back to earth so suddenly by this sad news. Our good wishes are with everyone in the family.

  30. Lee Calvert says:

    To be in the audience on Friday in Leeds and experience a brilliant night in the presence of these wonderful musicians it is so sad to learn about Ruud, Come back and Play another day! Wishing you a quick recovery.

  31. Martin Simpson says:

    Andre would you please pass the following message to Ruud, wife and family you are all in my Prayers God Bless you Martin

  32. Christine says:

    Prayers for Ruud and his family.

  33. Leni and John says:

    This news is so very sad. We were looking forward to the concert in Birmingham on Wednesday but cancellation is obviously the right thing to do.
    Our prayers are with Rudd and his family and we hope that Rudd will have the strength to pull through.

  34. Graciela says:

    MUCHA FUERZA RUUD !!!! Y TODA LA JSO REZO POR SU RECUPERACION DESDE ARGENTINA

  35. David Durston says:

    Our hopes and best wishes for all of this wonderful family who have given so very, very much pleasure to so many. Of course, it was disappointing to miss tonight’s performance in London, but this decision was definitely the right one to help inspire and support Ruud’s full recovery. That unity is precisely what makes the JSO so exceptional. Get well soon!

  36. Rob & Bella says:

    Our thoughts and Prayers are with Ruud and his lovely family at this time, God Bless xxx

  37. Molly Higham says:

    Andre did the right thing in cancelling the Concerts, how could the Orchestra play and be happy on such a sad occasion. My prayers are with Rudd and his family,and the family of the J.S.O. you are all one together. May we have better news soon,of his recovery. Love and regards to all.xx

  38. Ann Swan says:

    Keep fighting all the way Rudd! Thinking of you and your family and all the Orchestera everyone must be devastated!

  39. Rita Turner says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed the concert in Leeds. Ruud is a brilliant and talented player and part of a wonderful orchestra. Thoughts and prayers are with Ruud and his family and both Andre and the orchestra. Hope he does make a full recovery. He has so much still to give to people.

  40. Mary Webster says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with Ruud, his family, Andre and the JSO. Hoping you recover soon Ruud. Keep on fighting Ruud

  41. Bonnie Kanavel says:

    prayers from Tennessee. USA..So sorry for you and your colleague..and his family..we will continue to pray for all of you.God bless you!

  42. Octavian & Debbie Kovach-North says:

    My wife and I pray for a miracle so that Rudd not only would be spared but that he will return in time to the orchestra for everybody’s delight.
    May the Lord God strengthen and encourage Ruud’s family through these trying times.

  43. Sarah Ross says:

    I am very saddened to hear about Rudd ,I hope God will spare him to his family ,my thoughts are with you all
    God bless and thank you for your music

  44. Rosemarie White says:

    This fine orchestra (best in the world) are all shocked at learning of Rudds cardiac arrest and it cannot be possible for them to perform as they usually do with such warmth and ability of all the musical talents. Andre is one in a million and is a very good “boss” who does not put his fame first but is a good Christian and worries over everyone.
    The Lord and the archangels will watch over Rudd and his family plus all his millions of fans – his extended family. Will pray for his return to good health and give thanks for everybody involved in his care. Everyone feels the sadness the world over. Miracles happen and we should pray to whoever we believe in to make this happen.

  45. Linda says:

    Prayers are with Ruud and Lin also JSO have watched him bring so much fun many times and look forward to seeing him agsin

  46. Pam and Col Moris says:

    Our best wishes for a recovery for Ruud and our best wishes to Lin and family.

  47. Barbara says:

    I had not heard of Andre Rieu and wondered why there was such support for cancelling a tour. Ilona gave me a thoughtful explanation so I decided to watch a Youtube of a concert. It was Maaschricht ( probably got the wrong spelling, sorry) 2016. I watched some of it but really the playing of Borodin’s On the Steppes Central Asia was truly terrible. A travesty.

    1. Margaret Hood says:

      Why put a negative comment when his family and fans are heartbroken at the news.

    2. Rhoda Blackburn says:

      What on earth possesses you to write a comment like this?? A man’s life, a dear member of the orchestra, a husband, a father, a friend hangs in the balance and the best you can think of is the above? Shame on you, have some compassion please

    3. craig says:

      Clearly you still dont know who Andre and the JSO are Barbara, bleating on like a sheep.
      Go and crawl back under your rock you horrible woman!
      Ruud, your a trombonist, you slid in to a coma so slide back out and get well soon.

    4. Donna Williams says:

      Shame on you!

    5. Donna Williams says:

      Heart breaking news. Perhaps you don’t understand!

    6. William Safford says:

      I just went looking for that video on YouTube, and could not find it. If you would, please post a link, so I may listen to it.

    7. karen browne says:

      What on earth has your idiotic review got to do with the passing of a much loved, respected and extremely talented member of the JSO family?

      There is a time and place for comments like yours and this is not the time or place to to so.

      The only travesty is that Ruud Merx lost his life.
      May God look after his family and many friends who grieve for him.

    8. Mark Radford says:

      How could anybody with any decency even think of writing something like that? Okay you are not a fan, so move on to something that does interest you.
      To write such negativity when a family and so many have been saddened by this news is inexcusable.
      It is a shame that some have their priorities and timing so wrong, it is a shame that some find it impossible to show any respect to others.
      Instead of criticism, why not just move on and use your keyboard by looking up respect. You may see why your comments are not only badly timed, but completely inappropriate.

    9. hilary says:

      omg … where have u been!!! to not know about andre and his Orchestra!!!you must be the only person in the world to not know anything about the above. can’t believe how negative u are at such a sad time for lin and her family. r.i.p ruud u will be missed hilary (dublin) x

  48. Richard says:

    Oh dear Barbara, clearly his wonderful music is not for you! Still as you have no idea who he is it matters not.

  49. Richard says:

    Barbara, It is a pity you do not like Andre Rieu’s music, however as you have no idea who he is it matters not!

  50. Ruthy says:

    In the name of Jesus… Rudd You will live and not die! Be healed Rudd! Heart you function properly…

  51. Brian Hargreaves says:

    A big fan of Andre so sad thoughts with them all at time

  52. Julia McCart says:

    Dear Rudd. Get well soon. Thinking and praying for you, Alina-lin and your two children. Love to Andre and his orchestra. Julia. xxx

  53. Emanuel Borok says:

    As tragic as it is for such a talented man to be fighting for his life, the decision that Andre made is truly unprecedented to the best of my knowledge. I know how Andre takes care of his musicians! Nowhere in the world do musicians enjoy such incredible working and travel conditions and now this! He is nt so much a conductor He is a Papa!
    God bless his ill musician and God bless Andre!

  54. mclannahan william says:

    OME ON RUDD. All the musicians need you back along with the growing public to listen to your faboulas music along with the other members. So sorry to learn you came ill in our county of yorkshire . But you had a very very good and great man and his musicians to take care of you . so take care and get better soon for your family and orchestra .

  55. Linda Dobbie says:

    So sorry to hear about Ruud. My thoughts go out to his family as well as his extended family. The correct decision to cancel concerts was very humane. I wish everyone well, especially Ruud.

  56. Sandra Rodgers says:

    So very sorry for Ruud and his family. Hope and prayers for his recovery. God bless Andre and his family.

  57. anthony collins says:

    So sorry to hear of Rudd heart attack what entertainer he is thinking of him and his wife and children and Andre and all the now orchestra we praying for you all

  58. Brian Saint says:

    I have had a massive cardiac arrest 7 years ago and made a good recovery I also have friend in London who also had a massive heart attack and remained in a coma for 2 weeks he also recovered to be able to have a good standard of life . Our prayers are with you and your family

  59. Dave Fisher says:

    A fact of life is that at some point it will come to an end for us all. At that time is always great sadness at the persons absence but this is usually contrasted by looking back at all the enjoyable times you are able to recall about the person.
    For Ruud the report that there is little hope of recovery is not good but as long as he able to, I am sure he will keep fighting for his life.
    The coma he is reported to be in I would like to think was an induced one to give his body the opportunity to recover. If however he has slipped into a coma himself then my thoughts turn to all his family and friends who will no doubt be preparing for the worst.
    Again it is at times like this that they need to support each other and remember all the many many happy times they have been so privileged to have shared with Ruud.
    I have never personally met any of the members of Andres orchestra but they can be assured they are in the thoughts of myself as well as many thousands of admirers of Andre and his orchestra.

    1. Maggie Blackmore says:

      I am a great fan of andre and jso as well as the rest of the company .I was very saddened to haer about Rudd.I was due to go to wembley and so pleased andre cancelled .How caneveryone be happy when ruud is fighting for his life.. I met alot of the people including ruud and had a lovely picture with him .this will bring happy memories My thought and prayers are with his family as well as his other family .Please come back to us ruud.May god be with you all

      Maggie Sussex

  60. Claire Parker says:

    What a shame, Ruud was one of our favourites with his antics on stage. We pray for him at this time of the year which unfortunately will not be a very happy one for his own family or his orchestra family

  61. James Lamont says:

    I am so sad to hear of the news of Ruud’s heart attack you know we see them all on the television shows and when we see them all at the live shows you feel that you know them as good friends although you have never spoke to them in person I can only hope and pray Ruud pulls through my thoughts are with all his family at this very sad time.

  62. Steve & Eileen Metzger says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Ruud and his close and extended family at this very sad time

  63. Ruud en marilyn Bekker says:

    Will keep Ruud and his family in our prayers. May a speedy recovery be the best Christmas present for all of us.
    Andre, je bent een kerel naar mijn hart, en je hele orkest: Een voorbeeld te volgen !!
    Ruud en Marilyn Bekker

  64. Sharon Pascual says:

    Oh, how very sad to read of Ruud’s present condition and how it happened. All we can all do is hope and pray that he WILL recover.

    I add my thoughts to those of all the worldwide JSO fans for Rudd’s recovery, and love to his wife and two children, and to all their friends at this difficult time. Andre made the only decision that could be made for such a dear friend so seriously ill.

    With Love,
    Sharon Pascual

  65. Lynne says:

    Come on Ruud, you can do it! xxx Lynne and Steve x

  66. erikaevans says:

    Dearest Andre and Orchestra my sincere prayers for his recovery and we keep you all in our hearts. Be strong and keep your faith. Xxx

  67. erikaevans says:

    Dearest Andre and orchestra…we keep you in our prayers. Be strong like always. Your love will see your orchestra family through.

  68. Kevin Wilkinson says:

    So sorry to hear this awful news about Ruud!!! so sorry for Lin and Andre and all the YSO, We were both in Leeds for the concert and it was our first time seeing them

    kevin and Christine Wilkinson

  69. Walters family sa says:

    What an example to humanity, in suffering you respond as a mensch,we salute you Andre. We hand Ruud into GOds care for perfect healing

  70. Moore says:

    So sad, we spent last night in the hotel in Birmingham as planned, but it was surreal seeing the arena in darkness. I hope he recovers, he always makes us laugh. Thoughts are with his wife and children, especially at this time of year x

  71. Clive says:

    Sadly just read a translated article from 1 limburg local newspaper.
    It appears that Ruud Merx has sadly passed away.
    Rip Ruud
    Our thoughts go out to your family and JSO

  72. Tom Carroll says:

    Deeply saddened to hear of Ruud’s cardiac arrest. Had enjoyed a fantastic concert in Dublin on Dec. 8th. I hope that he recovers to full health.
    Maastricht tickets already purchased for next year.

  73. Dottie Smith says:

    Oh how sad that Ruud has passed away – I read all the above letters and was really saddened by the last one. Andre was absolutely right to cancel the tour with such a close knit group of people – they will all be so upset. How awful for his family at Christmas too my deep condolences to them. I saw them in Maastricht and he was such a jolly fun loving member of the JSO family.

  74. janet broomhead says:

    our prays are with the family at this sad time and also with the orchestra love Janet and Stephen

  75. Tom O'Dwyer says:

    I’m very saddened to hear this very sad news, RIP Ruud, you were pure genius.

  76. Martin Simpson says:

    My prayers are with Ruuds family and my Our Blessed Lady guide them and protect them at this time and JSO for the countĺess blessings Ruud had given to others . RIP
    Martin.

    1. Ted Crosby says:

      What a beautiful post, Martin! Wonderfully and beautifully said.

  77. Hein Sijben says:

    With pain in my heart I have to inform you that Ruud Merx, André Rieu´s 47-year old trombone player, did not survive his heart attack. Dutch news media are reporting for a few hours now that Ruud died today, December 22nd 2016, in the Academic Hospital of Maastricht. My thoughts are with him, his wife and children, André Rieu and all his collegues of the JSO.

  78. Margaret Josephs says:

    So sorry to hear the dreadful news. My friend and I so enjoy the concerts and send our best wishes to you all at this sad time. God bless you .

  79. Anne says:

    Very sorry to learn of Ruud’s passing – he was a wonderful instrumental. Please pass on my sincere condolences to Andre and the whole Orchestra. Please also pass on my sincere condolences to his lovely wife and family. I will miss Ruud’s antics. I. You are all in my thoughts and prayers at this very sad time. God bless.

  80. Sandra Wren says:

    I, and my friend, Pat both send our heartfelt thoughts to Ruud’s wife and family at this very sad time. Our thoughts are with Andre and his orchestra too. We both had a wonderful time in 2013 when we saw Andre at one of his summer concerts in Maastrict and one of the many pre-concert highlights, for us, was having our photo taken with Ruud and Roger Dierderen the trumpeter. RIP in Ruud, your wonderful personality and antics on stage will be truly missed xx

  81. Denise Pye says:

    So sorry to hear that Ruud has passed away. My thoughts are with his family and with Andre and the rest of the orchestra. Rip Ruud.

  82. Margaret Grant says:

    So sad to hear the news. Our thoughts and prayers are with Ruud and his family and all the Johann Straus Orchestra family at this sad time.

  83. Hans Simon says:

    So very sad to hear the passing of Rudd. Our thoughts to his family friends and Andre.
    The orchestra brought so much happiness to everyone.

  84. Allison McAlpine says:

    on behalf of my family to the orchestra of Andre Rieu and to Ruuds family we send you all our love at this sad sad time!! thinking of you!!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  85. Jan and John Bennett - West Midlands. says:

    Our thoughts are with Ruud’s family at this very sad time. He was a truly brilliant musician thoroughly enjoyed concerts over a number of years, mainly in Nottingham.

    Our thanks for Andre for his compassion to Ruud’s family in cancelling the Nottingham concert and the remainder of the Tour and help in arranging medical transportation back home. Our thoughts are also with Andre, his family, the members of the Orchestra their families and everybody in the Family of the Andre Rieu Organisation.

    Love and best wishes Jan and John.

  86. Sally Hodges says:

    R.I.P. dear Ruud. You were a lovely man and will never be forgotten. Been to see you all many times. You have given us so much fun and joy over the years.
    Sincere condolences to Lin and the children and to all the Andre Rieu Family. Thinking of you all. xx

  87. Jeannette Williams says:

    I am sat at home watching your wonderful Christmas concert on TV. I can’t imagine how you must all feel at this present moment on the death of Ruud. I am so so sorry to hear of this awful news. My thoughts are with the orchestra family and with Rudd’s own loving family at this very difficult time. He will be so sorely missed. The world has lost another wonderful talent in 2016. May God draw close to you all at this time. God bless. Thank you all for the joy that you have brought to so many people.

  88. Sheila says:

    Such awful news – bad at any time, but somehow worse at Christmas. Our thoughts are with Lin and the children, as well as with all his friends in the Orchestra. We have been so lucky to have seen Ruud more than once and will miss him too.

  89. Hermoine Richards says:

    As a ardent fan of the orchestra and all its musicians it is very sad news which is hard to accept. My deepest sympathies to his wife and children and the entire orchestra. He will be greatly missed by Andre Rieu and the family of musicians.

  90. Geraldine Annis, Michael Annis & Vivien Bowles says:

    We are deeply saddened by the death of Ruud. My sister and I saw one of Andre’s very early concerts and have been an avid follower since by buying DVDs and CDs and Sky Art. He was such an integral part of the orchestra and will be sadly missed. Such a shock at such a young age. Our condolences to his family and to his friends and colleagues in the orchestra, such a hard thing to come to terms with. Our love, thoughts and gratitude for all the joy you bring all year round.

  91. Julia Waddington says:

    Such sad news to hear of Ruud’s death. His music, along with the rest of the orchestra brought joy to millions.I count myself lucky to have seen and heard him perform along with orchestra 3 times here in the UK. May his family now take comfort from the extended Rieu family at this sad time. Thinking of you all with love xxxx

  92. Catherine says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all concerned at this very sad time for everyone.

  93. Mark Radford says:

    I was so sorry to hear the tragic news about Rudd, a wonderful musician taken away from us at a very early age.
    My thoughts and condolences go to his wife and children along with the rest of his family and friends through this difficult time.
    My thoughts also go out to the family of the JSO orchestra who had the honour to share special moments with this wonderful man for so many years.
    Sometimes, things in this life do not make any sense. Thank you for the memories Rudd – R.I.P.

  94. Janet Eastwood says:

    Our thoughts and prayers are with Rudd’s family and you Andre and the Johann Strauss Orchestra and Soloists at this sad time. He was a very talented member of the orchestra.
    RIP This.

    Jan & Tony Eastwood.

  95. Deborah Ware says:

    I send my condolences to the orchestra and to Rudd’s family I am for ever thinking of his family I’m sorry to hear about his death

  96. Charles says:

    The joy and professionalism you brought to your music touched me deeply. You will be missed.

  97. Kim Berry says:

    My Heart is broken for Lin and Her Children my Heart and Prayers are with Andre and The Orchestra.He was such a Talented Man,he brought so much joy to the Fans.God Speed.

  98. NOLA. DOHERTY - LEIER. says:

    RUUD MERX. WAS NOT ONLY A WONDERFUL MUSICIAN.
    BUT ALSO HAD A WONDERFUL VOICE.. AND A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR… CONDOLENCES TO LIN. AND THE CHILDREN.,
    PRAYING FOR GOD TO LIFT YOU ALL UP. AND COMFORT YOU.. “” MAY RUUD REST IN PEACE..””

  99. Purdyman says:

    This is so sad to here this ,we all have to die at some point but to loose this musisan at this young ageis is just so sad and out thoughts are with ruuds family as he will be missed

  100. City Bob says:

    I took my mum to the Leeds concert last Friday as she’s been a fan for years without ever seeing the orchestra in the flesh.

    Ruud was in fine form, both in terms of his playing and making the audience laugh out loud by joking around. It’s such a massive shock that someone so full of life and relatively young suffered such a sudden deterioration in health less than 24 hours later.

    R.I.P Ruud. Our condolences to his colleagues and family.

  101. Marilyn Michell says:

    So saddened to hear of Ruud’s passing. He certainly brought a lot of pleasure to us all and will be sadly missed. Our love to his family and JSO and Andre

  102. Lorraine Potter says:

    Such a tragedy for his family, the orchestra and those of us who enjoy everything by Andre Rieu’s orchestra family. The grief is experienced around the world from all fans. Prayers are with his Ruud’s family and the orchestra.

  103. Peter Alexander says:

    I was so very sorry to hear of the news, he had given my wife and I many happy hours via the TV, he really was part of the big show and joined in the fun side of the orchestra, he will be greatly missed by fans across the world and a hard act to follow. Please pass my sincere sorry to his family, as its such a tragic age.

  104. Vicky Davies says:

    I am so sad to hear about the very sad news of ruuds passing, it is so sad. My heart goes out to his family, Aundre and the orchestra. My thoughts are with you all. RIP Ruud. I never knew you, but i know heaven has gained a brilliant musician xx

  105. Mark Davey says:

    Dear Alina Lin Jong and family, André Rieu and The Johann Strauss Orchestra. No words can help the pain you feel or dry the tears you weep for those you have lost. I did not know Ruud but I did know his talents. His playing was purfect, his fun and mischief on stage, in the music he played with André and the Orchestra. brought to me laughter, joy and sorrow. I do not think his seat will be easy to fill. Thank you for the pleasure he gave me over the years. Alina and your children, André and your Orchestra are in my thoughts and prayers

  106. Carolyn Bridges says:

    I was with a very deep sadness that I learnt of Ruud’s passing. He was a great performer and was appreciated by the audience for his antics. He was a husband, father, son, and possibly a brother. May God bless his family and I thank God for the opportunity to have seen him in person and on video’s of Andre’s concerts.

  107. Mrs June bradley says:

    Such very sad news my thoughts go out to all family members including Andre and the orchestra. I have only seen them preform live one Christmas but have watched every concert and appearance shown on telly and you could see the love and friendship among them all . He will be a loss not only to those who knew and loved him but also to all the fans of the orchestra .Rest in peace dear Rudd .

  108. Chonita L. Farrish says:

    My husband and I have had the pleasure of seeing Andre Rieu and his beautiful orchestra in person. He has such a talented, funny and beautiful group of people in his orchestra. My heart goes out to the family of Mr. Ruud’s and all of Andre Rieu’s orchestra!

  109. Jessie Gray says:

    My heartfelt sympathy goes to Ruud’s family and to Andre and his orchestra who are such a close knit group and will be devasted by this terrible loss. I have enjoyed three live concerts and every DVD made and have been moved by every performance. Rest in peace Ruud X

  110. breda collins says:

    so very sorry to hear of the death of ruud i loved his antics to his lovely wife and family i send my condolances

  111. Lynfa Aston says:

    It is only today that my husband and I heard of Ruuds passing, so very tragic for his family and also his orchestra family too, we have loved watching this orchestra now for many years, and loved seeing them laugh and joke together, these antics were part of the show and was brilliant. condolences to his family, and he will be sadly missed by Andre and the orchestra as well as all the or hestra followers, xxx

  112. Andrew Miller says:

    Good Night God Bless Ruud – Gone but certainly never forgotten.
    Love and best wishes to the family. XXX

  113. I live in Hong Kong, China. I am deeply saddened that Ruud n Rieu are in critical condition.

    May God grant them a speedy recovery.

    Dr P Lam, Hong Kong.

  114. Tim O'Sullivan says:

    Today January 26th is Australia Day in the Land Down Under and I am searching the internet fro a particular Andre Rieu film clip AND am so saddened to come across the tragic news of Ruud’s death. I will think of him often when I replay my Andre Rieu CDs.
    Prayers for his wife and family from Oz.

  115. Paul Loud says:

    I’m so sorry & stunned by the terribly sad news of Mr. Ruud Merx passing.
    I so enjoyed his playing the Trombone, Mr. Merx Merx could make the instrument
    “Talk”. I’m from Boston & had an “After Christmas Party” at my house.
    We watched a Andre Rieu DVD, & so enjoyed Mr. Merx playing & clowning
    around, never dreaming of his passing. RIP Mr. Merx play for the Angels in Heaven.
    We will all say a Prayer this Sunday for Mr Merx, His family & the orchestra he
    performed so well for!

  116. Mary Martin says:

    We were so sad to hear the terrible news that Ruud had lost his life so early in his life. We had tickets for the Wembly show and arrived at the venue to be told of the sad news. Ruud will live on in the memory of all those who went to the concerts and the heart of all his friend in the orchestra. Our love and thoughts go to his family. We will be at the rescheduled concert in London in March and we are also going to Maastricht in July. Our first trip to Maastricht in 2014 was such a happy time for both of us and my partner tells me he fell in love with me. Our thoughts and love go to Andre and his orchestra. Ruud will live on in the music and their concerts. Love Mary And Des. England

  117. Jo Krasch says:

    So sorry to hear about the loss of your Comrade. Prayers go out to the Family and the Orchestra Family

  118. GARY & ADELE ABRAHAM, KAWERAU, NEW ZEALAND says:

    Ruud, you gave pleasure to so many as an integral part of the orchestra. Our thoughts and prayers are for you, and your friends and family. Did that ‘bone ever slip off your chin? We have at least 23 DVDs and I look for several familiar faces, waiting for you to do your balancing act. I have read all of the above testimonies through a mist of tears.
    One stands out…BARBARA, do you have any understanding of music? Of what it truly is? I am sure you now understand and feel saddened as do we all. Each of us make mistakes, and I allow you this one. Please Barbara, just atone with a prayer for Ruud and his family?. Now God has a trombone to add to his harps. We will miss you in the row, sitting closer to a harp than all realised. RIP.

  119. Donna Williams says:

    Gary & Adele Abraham, Kawerau, so well said.

  120. Jean Nations says:

    I am so sad for the loss of Ruud. I know that it will be hard for his family and the orchestra members. I am proud of Andre for the way he took care of Luud’s family. My heart goes out to all of them.


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