Episode 32: Susan Lape, Executive Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras

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Today I had the opportunity to sit down with an old friend of mine from Stanford, Susan Lape.

Susan has gone on to do such amazing things in the field of arts administration and is currently the Executive Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras.

The way she built her career and the advice she gives to new arts administrators make this episode valuable to anyone looking to broaden their “behind-the-scenes” skills.

We talk at length about the importance of solid mentor-mentee relationships, including how to set them up and how to be a good mentee.

Susan also shares stories that illuminate the importance of transparency and communication, especially when it comes to job interviews.

Don’t miss it!

This episode features Dvorak’s Carnival Overture and Conga del fuego by Arturo Marquez, both performed by the CYSO Symphony Orchestra.


Susan Lape is Executive Director of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras. She has built her career in arts management through positions with the Lake Forest Symphony, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the San Francisco Opera, and the Stanford Institute for Creativity and the Arts.

In 2016-2017, Susan was one of nine participants in the League of American Orchestra’s Emerging Leaders Program. ELP Participants are selected from a competitive national pool and demonstrate the potential to make significant contributions to their orchestra and to the field as a whole.