Unlikely cities to nurture great culture?

I have been aware for some time that the Ukrainian city of Odessa (on the Crimean pennisula on the Black Sea) has been the birth place of some of the greatest names in art - especially in the early years of the 20th century: Anna Akhmatova (poet) Simon Barere (pianist) Zakhar Bron (violinist) Maria Grinberg... show more I have been aware for some time that the Ukrainian city of Odessa (on the Crimean pennisula on the Black Sea) has been the birth place of some of the greatest names in art - especially in the early years of the 20th century:

Anna Akhmatova (poet)
Simon Barere (pianist)
Zakhar Bron (violinist)
Maria Grinberg (pianist)
Leonid Mandelstam (scientist)
Nathan Milstein (violinist)
David Oistrakh (violinist)
Igor Oistrakh (violinist)
Yakov Zak (pianist)

Now, Odessa is an attractive city of around one million people, but not a place one would immediately associate with such great names in western culture. One naturally expects from the great musical centres like Vienna, Berlin, New York and Paris, but Odessa?

Are contributors aware of other unlikely cities around the world that have spawned a perhaps surprisingly high number of great artistic figures?
Update: Variable 46: Care to expand at all?

Yes, Liverpool and Seattle have spawned some great pop and rock bands, for sure.
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