CHS ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT: Phil Quartararo, A Legend in the Music Industry

Quartararo, Class of 1974

By Charles Bruno ’24

Philip Michael Quartararo ‘74 is an acclaimed music industry executive who leads a successful life on the West Coast. Although Quartararo’s illustrious career has taken him across the country, his roots trace all the way back to Brooklyn, and his journey began at Chaminade High School.

Quartararo was born on January 7, 1956 in Brooklyn. When the time came for Quartararo to decide where to attend high school, he decided on Chaminade, hoping to receive the hallmark Marianist experience of a robust education, tight-knit community, and devotion to the Blessed Mother. So, in 1970, Quartararo enrolled at Chaminade and joined the class of 1974. During his time as a Flyer, he was greatly involved in the school: he was a member of the Communications Club and Skylight, president of the National Honor Society, and a volunteer at many school events.

Quartararo tangibly impacted others during his time at Chaminade through his friendliness and character. In fact, he was well-liked by all of his teachers, including Bro. Richard Hartz S.M. ‘59, who remembers that “Phil would always greet me in the halls with a smile.”

The attitudes of his fellow students were similar, as Bro. Stephen Balletta, S.M. ‘74, a member of the same graduating class, fondly recalls his classmate, saying, “He was extremely well-liked and popular amongst our classmates, and he was remarkably outgoing.”

Quartararo’s love for music—and more specifically, for the music business—was made evident as he was in charge of booking bands for school events such as the junior prom. Bro. Steve remarked, “Phil was already living his dream in high school.”

Following his time at Chaminade, Quartararo attended Syracuse University and graduated with the goal of entering the music industry. He held managing positions in A&M Records and RCA Records, and then landed an executive job at Island Records, a high-end record label, where he assisted in introducing the band U2 to the United States.

His fast-track career continued to excel, as he became president of Virgin Records America after working with the label for a few years. There, Quartararo played a critical role in jumpstarting stars such as The Rolling Stones and Janet Jackson. He then moved to Warner

Bros. Records in 1997 which, at the time, was ranked as the world’s most successful record label.

After working as president there, he shifted to the position of Executive Vice President at EMI Music, where he had notable success in the marketing sector. At EMI, Quartararo launched the recordings of some of today’s biggest stars, including Coldplay and Blake Shelton, while also marketing the catalogs of Frank Sinatra and The Beatles.

Following his stellar career, Quartararo received numerous recognitions for his trailblazing work in the music industry. In 2001, for example, Billboard named him the Music Executive of the Year. He was also recognized for his philanthropy, receiving the prestigious City of Hope’s “Spirit

of Life” award.

Even from the other side of the country, Quartararo has maintained a positive relationship with Chaminade, staying in close contact with the Marianist community. He welcomed the Marianists at each of his parent’s funerals, where they were able to reunite after years apart.

In addition, Bro. Richard noted that “Phil was more than willing to host an alumni event in California,” providing yet another opportunity for Quartararo and his classmates to stay connected to their alma mater. 

He may have grown in success, but never did Quartararo grow apart from the place it all started: 340 Jackson Avenue, Mineola.