Metzmacher has agreed to an initial term of three years, according to a press release.
Born in Hanover, Germany, Meztmacher was trained as a pianist and served as the pianist for Germany's Ensemble Modern before becoming its conductor in 1985. He is a much-traveled guest conductor of operas and orchestras, and has led the Hamburg State Opera (and the Hamburg Philharmonic) since 1997.
This fall Metzmacher becomes chief conductor of the Nederlandse Opera in Amsterdam; he will hold that position simultaneously with his DSO post.
The DSO was founded following World War II as the Radio Symphony Orchestra of West Berlin. Previous chief conductors include Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Chailly, and Vladimir Ashkenazy. The ensemble changed its name in 1993 after the unification of Germany to avoid confusion with East Berlin's radio symphony.