A 28-year-old Latvian, Andris Nelsons, is to be the new music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Andris Nelsons follows conductors such as Sir Simon Rattle
He will take up his post from the start of the 2008/2009 season and follows in the footsteps of Adrian Boult, Louis Fremaux and Sir Simon Rattle.
Mr Nelsons is due to make his first public appearance on 11 November and replaces Sakari Oramo who has been with the CBSO for 10 years.
Chief executive Stephen Maddock said he was sure he had found "the right man".
Mr Maddock said it had been a challenging exercise to find a conductor worthy to succeed Mr Oramo.
He said Mr Nelsons had enthralled the orchestra when he came to conduct a private concert at Birmingham Town Hall in September.
Mr Nelsons said it was a "huge honour" for him to work with an orchestra with such a distinguished history.
He said: "From the first moment I worked with them, I felt there was an obvious exchange of energy between us and also, artistically, we are striving for the same goals."
Mr Nelsons was previously the principal conductor of the Latvian National Opera House from 2003 until 2007 and is currently the principal conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie in Herford, Germany.