Born in Brooklyn in 1923, Drumlevitch attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan. He later studied at the New School for Social Research in New York, taking art classes at the Cooper School of Art and Architecture. In 1947 he and his wife, artist Harriet Greif, moved to Buffalo where Drumelvitch taught as an instructor at the Albright Art School, the University at Buffalo, the State University College for Teachers at Buffalo and the Jewish Community Center. In 1950, Drumlevitch won the prestigious Prix de Rome award from the American Academy in Rome. In 1956, he moved to NYC to work at the Brooklyn Museum Art School, until his family returned to Buffalo in 1959 to resume his position as a professor of painting and design at the University at Buffalo. He taught at the University until 1983, and held his final exhibit in 1989 just months before his death in 1989.
Drumlevitch was a prolific abstract painter of international renown, whose work sometimes incorporated Jewish themes (synagogues, biblical themes, tallit, torah). His style has incorporated oil paintings and ink drawings, as well as the use of collage. In 1988, Pictures and Reminiscences: Music for Seymour Drumlevitch by pianist Yvar Mikhashoff and percussionist Jan Williams premiered at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery auditorium in conjunction with a show of Drumlevitch’s paintings. Musical works included Leo Smit’s Sonata for Piano, Carnival Music by American composer George Rochberg, a friend of Drumlevitch’s and Jan Kapr’s “Exercises for Gydli” for soprano, flute and harp, Stravinsky’s Four Russian Songs and Giacinto Scelsi’s, Hyksos for flute and percussion. Locally his art is part of the collections at the Albright Knox and the Burchfield Penney and can also be viewed at the Jewish Community Center and at Temple Beth Zion.
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