The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), in Glasgow, has appointed Jeffrey Sharkey as its next Principal, to succeed John Wallace, who will retire in September 2014.
Mr Sharkey, a pianist, is currently the director of the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.
Lord Vallance of Tummel, chairman of the RCS Board of Governors, said: "We are confident that he is the right person to take the Royal Conservatoire forward.
"He will bring to the task exceptional leadership qualities combined with a deep knowledge and understanding of the strategic issues facing the conservatoire sector, both nationally and internationally. "
Mr Sharkey, who has been director of the Peabody Institute since 2006, is married to the professional cellist, Alison Wells.
Before going to Peabody, he was Dean of the Cleveland Institute of Music.
Prior to that, he was Director of Music at the Purcell School and Head of Composition and Academic Music at Wells Cathedral School.
He is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music, Yale University and the University of Cambridge.
He said he was "deeply honoured" to lead the RCS and added: "I have long admired the work and achievements of the Royal Conservatoire under the outstanding and creative leadership of John Wallace.
"I look forward to building on his exceptional work."