Otto Nicolai (1810-1849) was born in Königsberg, which was in Prussia (Germany) at the time, but is now in Russia, and called Kalingrad. Nicolai was a composer,
conductor, and the founder of the Vienna Philharmonic. Nicolai is best known for his operatic version of Shakespeare's
comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor as Die lustigen Weiber von Windsor.
He studied in Berlin, then moved to Italy where he had great success with several Italian operas, and his fame at the time rivalled that of Verdi. He then moved to Vienna, where he also established himself alongside Mendelssohn. He moved back to Berlin in 1849, and died of a stroke only two months after the premiere of 'The Merry Wives of Windsor'.