Alpaslan Ertüngealp was born in Istanbul, graduating from the German School there, and continued his studies in Budapest as a pianist and later as a conductor at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music. His teachers in the conducting course were Ervin Lukács and Tamás Gál. His conducting career was launched with award-winning showings at the János Ferencsik Conducting Competition in Budapest in 1998 and the Third International Prokofiev Conducting Competition in Saint Petersburg. He has also taken the stage as a pianist several times, although a hand injury meant that he would end up devoting all of his energy to conducting.
Ever since his victory at the Dimitri Mitropoulos International Conducting Competition in Athens in 2002, he has been recognised as an outstanding representative of the Hungarian school of conducting. He joined the Savaria Symphony Orchestra as a permanent guest conductor in 2001 and served as its music director from 2006 until 2009. In 2001, he also founded his own orchestra, the Academia Hungarica Chamber Orchestra, selecting its members from among the finest musicians in Hungary. Between 2011 and 2014, he served as deputy and artistic assistant to the legendary conductor Claudio Abbado, which meant working with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the La Scala orchestra, the Orchestra of the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra Mozart.
Ertüngealp’s active repertoire currently comprises more than 750 orchestral works and operas, and he is a superb interpreter of the works of Haydn, Bartók, Rachmaninoff, Alexander Scriabin and Richard Strauss. As a fan and supporter of contemporary music, he has premiered the works of a great many contemporary composers from Hungary and other countries, for which he received the Artisjus Award in 2003.