André Rieu orchestra is in mourning for beloved member

The trombonist Ruud Merx died yesterday, December 22nd 2016, in the Academic Hospital of Maastricht. He did not recover consciousness after suffering a heart attack in his sleep on Saturday morning in Leeds.

Ruud was 47. He had played in the Johann Strauss Orchestra since 1994. His wife, Alina Lin Jong, was among the first musicians in the orchestra. They have two teenaged children. Our thoughts are with them at this wretched time.

Tributes are being posted here and on the orchestra’s site.

André Rieu has posted this memorial video.

Ruud’s favourite work was Mahler’s third symphony.

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  • I didn’t know him but had seen the JSO many times and I’m gutted, really gutted. RIP and thoughts are so with the family and the rest of the JSO

      • My thoughts are with are with you all so sad
        like I said never seen them but my partner and me are going on 7the March 2017 very sad won’t be there x love to the family and the orchestra xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
        mandy and Wayne xx

    • So so sad to hear Ruud’s passing. RIP.❤️️❤️️Love to Lin, children and his family.
      Also to Andre and the whole orchestra.our thoughts are with you.

    • So sorry to hear of the loss of Rudd a very charismatic man. Sincere condolences to his wife Lin and their two children, family and his many friends….thinking of you all at such a sad time… xxx

    • Such a shock when I heard of Ruud’s passing. A very talented musician and so good to watch, across the whole spectrum of music he was superb. As a musician myself I always admired his work with the JLS orchestra dut this was not “work” this was happiness and enjoyment. He will be missed by so many people. My only regret is that I never saw live in concert. Are prayers are with his whole family. God bless to you all.

      • I am so sorry to have heard of his death. I grieve for his wife and family. It is a shock even though I only knew him through the dvds. He seemed full of life and will be greatly missed.

    • I to did not know him as I live in Melbourne Australia. My husband and I recently made a special trip to Perth Western Australia to our past home town .We saw the orchestra there and had a wonderful time . THis was our 3 rd time . We watch them on TV lots of times and have many DVDs etc of the orchestra .
      We are so sad of ruud,s passing. He was such a wonderful trombone player. Xxx

    • Loved his silly antics and the world will miss him. Our thoughts are with his family, his wife, his children and the orchestra. Farewell and may you be at peace.

  • A terrible shock to us all ,he will be greatly missed a very fine musician. our thoughts are with his family.God bless ruud

  • R.I.P Ruud Merx, you’re very good musician in the Johann Strauss Orchestra. I will missing your solo part in the Second Waltz of Dimitri Chostakovich, and I will missing too, your trombone on your cheek in the last part of Strauss and Co. Goodbye Ruud Merx.

  • I am so very very sorry to hear this tragic news
    Thoughts and deepest sincerest condolences to his lady wife,family
    Andre and the entire
    Johann Strauss orchestra

  • Im really sorry to hear that Ruud has passed away. My thoughts are with his family and Andre and thr YSO. He will be very sadly missed. RIP Ruud. X

  • RIP Ruud. You would brighten any room you went into. Thoughts and prayers to your wife and family at this sad time. You will be making music in heaven now.

  • How very sad to hear that Ruud has passed away. What a lovely man he seemed to be and I’m sure he was a bundle of fun with the orchestra. Always had a smile and like to join in the singing and fun. My heartfelt sympathies goes to Lin and her children at this very sad time. Fortunately Lin has a big “family” around her to comfort and help help. Rest in peace, Ruud.

    • Very sad to hear the sad news that ruud has passed away He was so full of life will be.God be with you all and will be thinking of you all my thoughts are with the family and also his other family you must be hurting so much.I write this with tears in my eyes .and hope you will all find strengh with each other

      Bye dear ruud

      Maggie

  • So sad to hear of Ruud’s passing. He was a fantastic musician and always had a smile for everyone. My thoughts are with his wife and family and to Andre and all the other musicians in the orchestra.
    Rest in peace Ruud. Your music will brighten up heaven x

  • Just heard on Classic FM that Rudd had died. We are devastated. Our sympathy goes to Lin and their children and also to the JSO as they have lost a great friend. You will be in our thoughts. Much love to you all at this sad time.

  • A very sad loss to theJ S O and especially his family only seen him on the television but looking foreward to seeing Andre and J SOin Maastricht in JULY even more important to be there now Adrian&Jenny

  • so sad to hear the news of Ruud’s death my thoughts go out to Lin and his children ,and to all the J S O family he was a great musician and will be missed all round the world by his army of fans R.I.P. Ruud

  • Dear Ruud Merx was a ‘gentle giant’ of a man with a beautiful soul and a heart full of love for his beloved family, Andre and his JSO friends, and all of his Friends around the World who loved him. He was a musician par excellence and was full of fun: his comedy on stage made Andre, his fellow musicians and everyone in the arena laugh out loud! He was a bright shining star here on Earth and the brightest star in the heavens paled in comparison. God rest his soul and give comfort and peace to his beloved family and Andre and his Orchestra family.. with abiding love Viv xx

  • My heart goes out to the Merx family, Andre and the whole orchestra.
    This news is devastating for all.
    I had the pleasure of having a little chat with Ruud, in Maastricht this year.
    Such a very talented musician.
    My love and prayers are with you all.
    God be with you,

    • Our thoughts are with Ruuds family at this time also Andre and his entire team this must be very difficult God Bless
      Gordon and Agnes Scotland

  • Sadly missed thoughts and condolences to his wife and family at this sad time and to all of the JSO.

    Peter & Carol Smith.

  • I cannot believe our wonderful trombonist is no longer with us you will be sadly missed our thoughts and prayers are with your family

  • So sad to hear of Ruud’s passing. He brightened my life with his wonderful talent and sense of fun. Sincere condolences to Lin, Oscar and Lisa, also Andre and the whole orchestra. What will they do without you Ruud? RIP

    Doreen

  • Dear family,

    Ruud was an amazing person. I know him for many many years. He was allways in for fun and laugh. I still can’t believe that he is not among us anymore.
    We wish all of the family of Ruud, especially his wife and children a lot of strength in this difficult time. Also Andre and the whole orchestra. They are lost wihtout you.

    Adieë wa!!!

    Sandra

  • So sad to hear of Ruuds passing . It is a sad day for music that such talent has been taken . Deepest sympathy to his family and all members of jso . Rest in piece .

  • Absolutely saddened and shocked by news of Ruuds passing. What a tragedy. Prayers and thoughts are very with his family, and also Andre and the orchestra who must also feel bereft. God bless you all.

  • Dit is met groot hartseer dat ons die nuus van Ruud se dood verneem het. Hy was n pragtige mens.So ook sy vrou.

    Ons bede vergesel hulle in die tyd van hartseer en die verlange wat daarna gaan kom.
    Ook simpatie met Andre, sy gesin en die orkeslede. Mag hulle vertroosting vind in die herinneringe aan Ruud.

    Sterkte

  • On Friday last (16th December) we were thrilled to attend what became the last performance of Ruud and we are profoundly saddened to know of his passing and loss to the world. Our heartfelt condolences to his family and the members of the JS Orchestra. A sad loss indeed!

  • Very sad feel as if I knew him. We were lucky enough to be at the concert in Liverpool on the 15th December. Most deepest and sincere condolences to his Family and Andre and the orchestra. RIP Rudd. Xx

  • Please accept my sorrow on hearing the news of Ruuds tragic death and extend my wifes and my sincere sense of loss of a fine trombonist who will be missed by all the people around the world who follow the music of a fantastic orchestra.
    Our condolences to his wife and family at this difficult time,having last week attended the concert in Liverpool, England we share your loss.

  • So, so sorry for you all, including Ruuds wife and family, a terrible thing to happen, especially at this time of year.

  • Deepest sympathy with the Family of Ruud Merx, we really enjoyed watching his trombone act where he balanced it on his chin. He will be missed.

  • So sorry to hear of ruud’s passing so young he will be sadly missed by Andre and all the Johann Strauss orchestra his second family,to his wife Lin and children our condolence and we are thinking of you at this very sad time,ruud’ you will never be forgotten thanks for all the wonderful memories

  • Very sorry to hear the news of the death of Ruud.
    Whenever there was life, there was hope but given his being in a coma, the odds were alas not in his favour.
    Should he have survived the heart attack & coma and made a full recovery it would have been miraculous.
    If it had however left Ruud impaired and unable to do what he loved, I am in no doubt for him it would have been a tortuous existance.
    It is surely now a time to reflect and celebrate a marvellous life, lived to the full which has tragically been cut so short..
    A life where he gave so much pleasure to so many and left so many happy memories.
    My thoughts are with his family and colleagues

  • So sad to hear of Ruuds passing, he was an amazing musician and such fun to see. I wish Lin and the children much strength in this difficult time, a lovely family and lots of talent. He will be very much missed in the JSO and by the fans. The angels have a new member now, just hope he does not eat all the flowers in heaven!

  • 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.

  • My thoughts for the Family and Friends, and the orchestra broke my heart to find out about the tragedy, RIP and God Bless. You all, Merry Christmas to all.

  • so so sad to learn the news of Rudd,s passing.We send most sincere condolences to his family and to Andrie and his other family,The Orchestra.Thanks for all the wonderful music of which he played a big part.RIP.

  • We are so sad to hear of Ruud’s passing. He will be hugely missed by so many who follow Andre and his wonderful family of musicians. Our thoughts are with his wife Lin and their children.

  • So very sad to hear of Rudd passing R I P Heaven has received a very special Angel thinking of his wife And family at this very sad time an also Andre and his JSO

  • So Sad to hear this sad news, my thoughts are with his family, Andre and the JSO. Enjoyed the concert so much in Leeds on Friday 16th December, it’s so so sad.

  • I am sadden by the news I so love watching you on the TV and the antics he use to do made me laugh will miss seeing him.I bet you all miss him so much.

  • Deeply sad news of Ruud. Great tromboneist! My Mum & myself enjoyed show. We will miss him Ruud. ❤️ Thinking of family & friend also his group.

  • So very very sorry to hear that Ruud has passed on. The world has lost a very gifted musician and a lovely man full of love and laughter. My thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family and Andre and all the members of the orchestra. God Bless ! Mgt Martin

  • Tragic news , how sad to pass at such an early age. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and two children, also to Andre and the members of the JSO who I know will miss him terribly. Sure he will always be with you in spirit at every concert joining in from above. Reading these tributes brings a tear to the eye especially as we are watching every night on Sky Arts. Will miss the antics and balancing act . A great loss.
    Gillian & Peter

  • So terribly sorry to hear such news, especially having just been so lucky to have seen the concert in Leeds. My thoughts are with his wife and family, members of the JSO and Andre. May you rest in peace Rudd

  • so sad, what was God thinking! Ruud you brought such a sense of fun to the Orchester! love and prayers to Lin and the family.
    RIP dear Ruud.

  • My love and thoughts go out to his family, friends and to the orchestra.
    I am a great fan of Andre Reiu, have all hiis D.V.Ds and have been to,all his concerts here in Australia.
    Ruud was a great musician also a fun member of the team, we will miss you, R.I.P.

  • My love and thoughts go to his family, friends and the Orchestra.
    He was such a character and a great part of the team. R.I.P. Magic man

  • I am a 79 yr old South African. I have watched black and white movies of The Great Waltz and The Waltz King and now the modern versions on DVD of the JSO. Ek is so harseer oor Ruud, ek dink aan sy vrou, sy kinders, en almal in die JSO. Sterkte!

  • So sad to hear the news, so much pleasure given to so many people with the orchestra and his fellow musicians. Our many condolences to his family and all who knew him.

  • Alle mine tanker går til hans kone og børn, jeg har set ham mange gange klovne og nydt det håber alt godt for hans familie

  • This is a devastating loss for Andre and the whole orchestra, but especially for his wife and children. When you saw them together it was so apparent they were very much in love. I wish to send them all my love and also to Andre and the orchestra, I will be thinking of you all in your grief. R.I.P Ruud xxx

  • Dear Andre and JSO and Lin and family. Andre and JSO has crept into our hearts and homes, we have only attended one concert in Maastricht. Today that there was going to be no recovery, and we wept together as a family. We wish everyone strength in this tough challenge. Andre is an amazing example in Leadership. We salute you Andre from the bottom of our hearts.

  • This is such sad news my thoughts are with Ruudd’s wife and children and of course with his extended orchestra family. Such a sad loss to you all in many ways he will be missed but never forgotten.
    Rest in peace dear Rudd x

  • This is such sad news our thoughts are with Ruudd’s wife and children and of course with his extended orchestra family. Such a sad loss to you all in many ways he will be missed but never forgotten.
    Rest in peace dear Rudd x

  • So many times the most talented, happy and wonderful people leave us but can you imagine the greatest orchestra ever assembled playing in Heaven? Room was made for our friend who has been invited to play with the great orchestra that plays somewhere over the rainbow. Our hearts are broken now but eventually we will be in the audience of that great orchestra, dance all night, beg for more and the tears we cry will be tears of joy. Until we meet again dear friend, Adieu !

  • My condolences to Rudd family I know what it is like to loose a member of family I lost my father last year it is raw for me.

  • I have watched JSO for years on you tube. So sorry for your loss. You are family of love which we all observe when watching the concerts. I know you will watch over is wife and please give her my best.

  • RIP Ruud my deepest condolences to your loving family and colleagues. So deeply saddened to receive this news – a remarkable talent and the loss of such a young life. It was wonderful to watch your acts on stage and JSO will be all the poorer without you. xoxo

  • RIP Ruud Merx
    So sorry to hear of the sad passing of Ruud. Thinking of his family and the whole orchestra at this sad time god bless Mary, David and Karen.

  • So sorry to hear of the sudden passing of Ruud. Our deepest sympathy to his wife Lin and their two young children and extended family – also to his second family Andre and JSO. It’s a terrible tragedy for you all particularly at this time of year. Rest in Peace Ruud.

  • So sad that this should happen to a great person and at this time of year. Thoughts with all the personal family and the JSO family. Bless you all.

  • Sadly missed deepest sympathy to all his family.not only was he a fine musician but a livewire in the orchestra baiacing his trombone on his nose

  • So sad to hear of your loss, our deepest sympathy, thoughts and best wishes we send to you all. Take care of each other.

  • What very sad news,our thoughts and prayers with Ruud’s family and all the orchestra.We are huge fans and laughed when he balanced his trumbone on his chin,a terrible loss for Andre.We are watching Sky Arts as I write this with all the lovely Christmas music,watching Ruud playing.Love the piece in tribute to him from Andre…RIP Ruud,you will always be part of the wonderful JSO….

  • So sorry to hear the very sad news of Rudd our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and family also with Andre and the JSO as we all know you were one family we send our prayers and blessings to you all at this very sad time god bless.

  • My wife and I are deeply saddened by the news of Rudd Merx passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. A great talent has left us, and he will be greatly missed both personally and professionally.

  • MAY THE LOVE OF EXTENDED FAMILY AND FRIENDS UPLIFT AND SUPPORT ANNA AND THE CHILDREN AND EACH OTHER DURING THIS VERY SAD AND DIFFICULT TIME
    I PRAY FOR ALL THOSE WHO LOVED RUUD

  • so very sad to hear of ruuds death he was a fabulous musician to his wife and children our deepest condolance
    breda collins lucan co dublin

  • Sincere condolences difficult to imagine the orchestra without him and his trombone balanced on his chin. Rest in peace Ruud you will be missed.

  • So sorry to hear Ruud Merx has passed away. Deepest condolences to his family and friends. Ruud was blessed with an amazing musical talent and a lovely sense of humour, he will be greatly missed. Audrey Steve and Limara xx

  • Rest in peace you brought such joy to my life watching each performance you have left a large void and will be greatly missed love a prayers to your wife children and extened family at this sad moment in time x

  • RIP dear Rudd. Always remembered never forgotten. Have seen Andre and the JSO twice, once at the O2 and last year in Maastericht. Condolences to his wife and children and to Andre and the JSO. Mary and David Willis, Bath, UK

  • So sorry to hear this terrible news. Saw him twice in concert what a talented and fun loving man he was. A terrible loss for his family and JSO. My thoughts are with his family at this sad time as I listen to an Andre Rieu CD obviously with Ruud playing so magnificently. RIP Ruud.

  • We are devastated to hear to Ruud’s passing. He was such a talented, cheerful musician. Our prayers go out to Lin and children, Andre and the whole JSO orchestra. Good bless you all and may you find comfort in knowing he will be serenading the angels in heaven.

  • So sad to hear the news, May he R I P, taken too young, but his musical performances will be here for ever, our condolences to his wife, children and orchestra.

  • Devastated to hear the tragic news of Ruud’s passing, he was a truly wonderful and gifted musician and will be so greatly missed. Deepest condolences to his lovely wife and family and to Andre and the whole JSO. Thinking of you all at this sad time.

  • Dawn & Jeff
    In Australia Andre Rieu concerts are very popular. We were saddened to hear of Ruud’s too early demise. He certainly livened up the orchestra with his antics. We went to the October 2016 concert in Newcastle (Australia) and enjoyed the whole performance. He will be missed. Our condolences go to his wife and children and to his colleagues in the orchestra and of course Andre.
    Dawn & Jeff Ruckley Australia

  • I was so sorry and as surprised as anyone to hear of the death of Ruud.
    I never knew him but always admired his enthusiasm for playing with the great
    A R Orchestra having watched him many times both live and on video. I envied him because even though I was the lead trombone for the Syd Lawrence Orchestra for 21years I felt he had the better job………..I mean this in the most respectful way. My thoughts are with his family and all his friends in the orchestra. He was too young and talented to be taken from us and will be greatly missed by all in the trombone fraternity .

  • I was so very sad to hear of the passing of Ruud. I was at the concert in Leeds two weeks ago, which was very sadly Ruud’s last. The love and warmth from you Andre and your orchestra overflowed into the audience, you made it a very special night for us. Please give Lin, Oscar and Lisa my Deepest Sympathy. To you all I say Treasure your Memories of Ruud, Guard them well and in the days and months ahead I hope and pray they will give your comfort.

  • I was immensely lucky to attend the Andre Rieu concert at Liverpool a short while ago on 15th December as a special and early Christmas present where with his usual gusto Ruud played his comedic part among the his exhibition of great technical skill. The orchestra will never seem the same with the early loss of this wonderful guy. My condolences to his family and to all those who were fortunate enough to call themselves his fellow musicians and friends. RIP Ruud, you will be sadly missed.

  • Our condolences to Ruud’s family and also to the Andre Rieu performance family. A sad time for all. We have always enjoyed the performances here in Australia which included Ruud. RIP.

  • So sorry to hear of Ruud’s passing. Such a talented man. My thoughts and prayers are with Lin and children also Andre and JSO

  • Gordon and Agnes
    Our thoughts are with Ruuds family at this time and of course Andre and all the team God bless Hope to see you all in Glasgow march 2017

  • R.I.P. Rudd Merx, sincere condolences to your beloved Wife and Children, the world will be a less happy place without you. Thank you for the beautiful music you brought to our lives, you have left our family with wonderful memories of times spent at concerts in Dublin. Respect, The Carlyle Family.

  • Having watched countless DVD’s and been to several concerts with the Andre Rieu orchestra, I feel as though I am part of the family. Therefore I am so very very sad to hear of the loss of Rudd Merx and can only imagine the depth of loss being experienced by his wife, children and the members of the orchestra. My loving prayers for comfort and peace are being offered for everyone involved. Thank you for al the enjoyment, fun and soul enrichment you have brought me and my family and God bless and enable you to continue bringing joy to all who hear you.

  • I feel for Ruud’s family, Andre Rieu and the JSO members for the loss of a member of their “family.” I am newly acquainted with this fantastic orchestra leader and his fantastic group of musicians. I’m probably seeing Rudd in some of the concerts I’ve been watching and know I gravitate to some individuals more closely….Ruud probably is one of them.

    I shall say a prayer for him.

  • I still can’t believe you are no longer with us Ruud. So sad you’ve been taken away so young. I’ve just been watching a pre-recorded concert on tv and there you are playing your trombone and enjoying every minute of it. I will miss you, your happy, smiling face and all your funny antics. My love goes out to your wife, Alina Lin Jong, your children and the André Rieu JSO. Feeling sad but so pleased and privileged to have met you. Thank you for the music and the pleasure you have given to us all. Rest in peace my dear friend.

  • I am just now reading this sad news. Am praying for you, Lin and family, as you move forward in your lives.
    Lin, may you feel the love of all that do care so much for you.

  • Can not believe we have found this news. My wife and I really look forward to seeing the whole show each year and Ruud was a real focal point to the performance and he will be deeply missed. Our heart goes out to his family and of course, Andre and his orchastra.

  • Det er med sorg at jeg har hørt at ruud er gået bort jeg vil savner hans musik og hans humør
    mine tanker går til hans familie

  • I have only just read the very sad news about Ruud and wish to convey my sincere condolences to his wife and family. Although I have sadly never had the pleasure of meeting any of the members of The JSO and at 88 years old I can only rely on the Andre Rieu web site and my collection of DVD I still feel the loss.

    Hopefully there will soon be a new addition to the excellent collection but I will miss the superb playing and fun-loving Ruud.

  • Have suffered a massive heart attack myself in 2008, I am being kept alive with an LVAD. Since then, my greatest pleasure has been to watch and listen to the JSO, and particularly, as a former professional musician, to Ruud ‘s contribution. to it.
    Condolences to his lovely family, and to the orchestra who I am sure will miss him greatly.

  • Thank you, Ruud, for your wonderful contribution to making the world beautiful. May God comfort your family and loved ones. God rest your sweet soul.

  • So sorry to hear this. Thoughts are with his family and loved ones. Never knew you Ruud but you were good and made me laugh when I saw you gargling along with the audience for “Bummelpetrus”!

  • I TOO AM SAD TO HEAR OF THE PASSING OF RUUD MERX,,,I AM WORRIED ALSO ABOUT HIS GORGEOUS WIFE LIN AND THEIR CHILDREN,,,,I ALWAYS WATCHED WHEN HE ATE A FLOWER;;;FUNNY MAN,,WILL BE SADLY MISSED

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