Giacomo Meyerbeer was a noted German opera composer, and the first great exponent of "grand opera." At his peak in the 1830s and 1840s, he was the most famous and successful composer of opera in Europe, yet he is rarely performed today.
Arthur Koestler was a Hungarian-British author and journalist. Koestler was born in Budapest and, apart from his early school years, was educated in Austria. In 1931 Koestler joined the Communist Party of Germany but, disillusioned by Stalinist atrocities, he resigned in 1938. In 1940 he published his novel Darkness at Noon
, an anti-totalitarian work, which gained him international fame.