其中最好的例证之一就是Beecham爵士任职过的西雅图交响乐团 (Seattle Symphony, 200 University Street; 206.215.4700; seattlesymphony.org)，由于其广受好评的一系列录音唱片，乐团声名鹊起。另一位连续任职26年的音乐总监Gerard Schwarz（1985年至2011年）为Delos和Naxos制作了150多张唱片，其中大部分是20世纪的美国音乐，向人们打开了这个值得瞩目却被其他指挥家忽视的剧目宝库，使乐团赢得了人们的强烈关注。2014年，在指挥家Ludovic Morlot的领导下，乐团成立了自己的唱片公司——西雅图交响乐团传媒 (Seattle Symphony Media)。其灌录的录音唱片已获得12项格莱美奖提名和5项大奖。John Luther Adams的Become Ocean（由另一家唱片公司Cantaloupe发行） 为乐团赢得了第三座格莱美大奖——最佳当代古典作曲奖。由西雅图交响乐团委托Adams的作品，还获得了普利策奖，并深受好评。
在2004年5月24日这一期的《纽约客》中， Paul Goldberger对当时刚刚开张的西雅图中央图书馆 (Seattle Central Library, 1000 4th Ave; 206.386.4636; spl.org)进行了热情洋溢的点评。该图书馆是由来自荷兰鹿特丹大都会建筑办公室的Rem Koolhaas（雷姆.库哈斯，西雅图中央图书馆是他在美国的第一座大型建筑物设计作品）和Joshua Prince-Ramus设计的。2000年，在Koolhaas被选中设计图书馆的下一年，他被授予建筑领域最高的国际大奖，普利兹克建筑奖。
福莱叶美术馆的沙龙室常规展示近150幅建馆收藏的画作 (Frye Museum)
福莱叶美术馆 (Frye Art Museum,Seattle, 704 Terry Avenue; 206.622.9250; fryemuseum.org)是以西雅图肉类加工大亨Charles Frye和他的妻子Emma遗赠捐出收藏的油画艺术品为常设展品的的同名博物馆，他们同时开启了对欧洲19世纪艺术，特别是德国艺术，令人赞叹的收藏传统。福莱叶美术馆组织过几场专门展示德国画家作品的展览，并于2013年与慕尼黑的Villa Stuck合作，展出了开创性艺术家Franz von Stuck （1863年至1928年）的作品。但是，福莱叶美术馆已将其使命宣言扩展到包括先锋艺术、装置和表演艺术；这种对传统主义和前卫艺术的双重关注，助其收获美誉。著名的英国苏富比拍卖行赞扬该博物馆是“对富有远见的赞助者和公民责任的见证，致力于艺术探究和丰富的访客体验。”在《纽约时报》上，作家Kirk Johnson称其为他最爱的西雅图博物馆：“你会由衷感叹，Frye夫妇曾深爱你面前的艺术品；通过在前厅循环展览最当代的艺术，博物馆的策展人试图继续发扬宝贵的馈赠传统。他们钟情所致的博物馆于1952年向公众开放，入场一直是免费的。”
Seattle has changed quite a bit since conductor Sir Thomas Beecham, who led the Seattle Symphony for three years (1941–44), warned city leaders not to let it become “an aesthetic dustbin.” (He has often been misquoted as saying Seattle was an aesthetic dustbin, which he did not.) Beecham’s advice was taken, and Seattle today is not only one of the West Coast’s major cultural centers, some of its arts institutions have developed a worldwide reputation for excellence.
One of these is Beecham’s own Seattle Symphony (Seattle, 200 University Street; 206.215.4700; seattlesymphony.org), and its reputation has grown through its acclaimed series of recordings. In his 26 seasons as music director (1985–2011), Gerard Schwarz made over 150 discs for the Delos and Naxos labels, mostly of 20th-century American music; bringing to light this deserving repertory, which other conductors neglected, earned the orchestra enthusiastic attention. In 2014, under conductor Ludovic Morlot, the organization launched its own record label, Seattle Symphony Media. These recordings have already earned 12 Grammy nominations and five wins. A third Grammy, for Best Contemporary Classical Composition, went to the orchestra for its recording of John Luther Adams’ Become Ocean (on a different label, Cantaloupe). Adams’ work, commissioned by the Seattle Symphony, also won a Pulitzer Prize and glowing reviews.
For these recordings, its innovative programming, and its overall excellence, the Seattle Symphony in 2018 was named Orchestra of the Year by British music magazine Gramophone. The only one of the eight nominated orchestras outside Europe, the SSO was lauded by Gramophone editor-in-chief James Jolly with these words: “The Seattle Symphony has a long and highly distinguished tradition of making recordings … the orchestra’s dynamic work in concert and the resulting recordings have clearly captured the public’s imagination.”
In its May 24, 2004 issue, The New Yorker ran a rapturous review by Paul Goldberger of the just-opened Seattle Central Library (Seattle, 1000 4th Ave; 206.386.4636; spl.org), designed by Rem Koolhaas (his first major building in America) and Joshua Prince-Ramus of the Office of Metropolitan Architecture in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. (In 2000, the year after he was chosen to design the library, Koolhaas was awarded his field’s top international recognition, the Pritzker Architecture Prize.)
The building’s facade is striking and unforgettable: slanting planes and parallelograms that suggest an askew stack of books, all wrapped in diamond-shaped glass panes set in a steel netting. “It’s the most alluring architectural object to arrive in this city’s downtown since the Space Needle,” Goldberger called the $165 million building. “The building manages the neat trick of seeming exotic but not bizarre.” He praised it not just for beauty but for functionality: “It is such a powerful testament to architecture as a container for the delivery of information. A building like this emphasizes the value a culture places on literacy… The result is the most important new library to be built in a generation, and the most exhilarating. … thrilling from top to bottom.” The New York Times critic Herbert Muschamp spoke in very similar terms when he said of the Library: “In more than 30 years of writing about architecture, this is the most exciting new building it has been my honor to review,” and this praise was echoed in 2007 by the American Institute of Architects, who ranked the Library #108 on its list of 150 favorite structures in the U.S.
When Seattle meatpacking magnate Charles Frye and his wife Emma bequeathed their art collection to found the museum that now bears their name, they established a tradition of noteworthy holdings in European 19th-century art, especially German. The Frye Art Museum (Seattle, 704 Terry Avenue; 206.622.9250; fryemuseum.org) has staged several exhibits devoted to German painters, and in 2013 collaborated with the Villa Stuck in Munich on a show of the work of groundbreaking artist Franz von Stuck (1863–1928). But the Frye has expanded its mission statement to include cutting-edge art, installations, and performance art; this two-pronged focus on both traditionalism and the avant-garde has made it uniquely admired. Prestigious British auction house Sotheby’s has praised the museum’s “living legacy of visionary patronage and civic responsibility, committed to artistic inquiry and a rich visitor experience”; while in The New York Times, writer Kirk Johnson called it his favorite museum in Seattle: “All you know is that one of the Fryes, or both, loved what you see before you, and that the museum’s curators have tried to continue the legacy with rotating exhibitions of mostly modern art in the front rooms… The museum of their passion opened to the public in 1952, and admission has always been free.”