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Ben N. Armato, 86, Of Hartsdale, Former Met Opera Clarinetist

HARTSDALE, N.Y. – Ben N. Armato, of Hartsdale, died Tuesday, Feb. 24. He was 86.

Armato was born in Brooklyn to Antonio and Maria Armato. After serving in the Army during World War II and performing with the West Point Army Band from 1944-47, he graduated from the Juilliard School of Music in 1950.

Armato was a Metropolitan Opera clarinetist from 1953-88, the director for the Williamsburg Settlement House and part of the SUNY Purchase faculty from 1981-91.

A member of the International Clarinetist Association, he held patents for two inventions, Perfect-a-Reed and Reed Wizard.

Armato also authored three books: “The Opera Clarinetist,” “Recital Clarinetist” and “Perfect-A-Reed … & Beyond.”

He was predeceased by his sister, Lillian Catoggio. He is survived by his wife, Ruth; daughters, Catherine Ross and husband Gerry, Maria Hardenburg and husband Jay, and Patricia Viscome; grandchildren, Nicholas Hardenburg and wife Audrey, Alicia Kinne and husband Jesse, Janine Ransom and husband Derrick, and Justin Hardenburg; and great-grandchildren, Benjamin and Juliet Hardenburg.

A memorial service will be held at Church of St. Barnabas, 15 N. Broadway, Irvington-on-Hudson, on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 5 p.m.

A musical celebration of Armato's life is set for Sunday, May 24, at Church of St. Barnabas, starting at 3 p.m., with a reception to follow.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Alzheimer's Foundation of America, 322 Eighth Ave, Seventh Floor, New York, NY 10001 or to any charity of your choice.

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