Professor Ashley Solomon is Chair and Head of Historical Performance at London’s Royal College of Music and performs internationally as the director, baroque flautist and recorder soloist with Florilegium.
Much in demand as a teacher he has been a professor at the RCM since 1994, appointed the first Head of Historical Performance in 2006 and awarded a personal chair in February 2014. Ashley directs the RCM Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir. He has given masterclasses and lectures worldwide, including The Juilliard School, Yale University, Case Western Reserve University, Sydney Conservatorium, Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts Singapore, Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts, Oslo and Bergen Conservatories, Frankfurt Hochschule and Mozarteum in Salzburg.
Combining a successful career across both theory and practice, Ashley co-founded the UK-based baroque ensemble Florilegium in 1991 and, since 2001, has been its Director. Florilegium have given over 1,000 performances (over 70 of these at London’s Wigmore Hall) and this summer sees the release of their 30th CD, of Telemann’s Essercizii Musici Collection on the Dutch label Channel Classics.
As a soloist, he has performed worldwide, including concertos in the Sydney Opera House, Esplanade (Singapore), Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Konzerthaus (Vienna), Beethoven-Haus (Bonn), Handel-Haus (Halle) and Frick Collection (New York). He also records as a solo artist with Channel Classics and his recording of the complete Bach’s Flute Sonatas was recently voted the best overall version of these works on either modern or period flute in an article in Gramophone Magazine (February 2017):
“Solomon’s luminous tone and unfussy command of the complicated melodies conflate into something utterly beautiful. Slow movements are soulful in their infinite variety, fast ones are clever and with a wealth of invention behind them.”
In May 2013 Ashley made his professional opera conducting debut, directing two performances of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, with Florilegium, solo singers and a chorus of singers from the RCM. These performances were in the Roman Baths as part of a residency by Florilegium at the Bath International Music festival.
In 2002 Florilegium became involved with Bolivian Baroque and since 2003 Ashley has been training vocalists and instrumentalists there. Initially solo singers, he formed Arakaendar Bolivia Choir in 2005 and Arakaendar Baroque Orchestra in 2010. He has directed them in concerts in Bolivia, North America and Europe, including two major tours of UK and their three CDs. In 2008 Ashley was the first European to receive the prestigious Bolivian Hans Roth Prize, given to him in recognition of the enormous assistance he has given to the Bolivian native Indians, their presence on the international stage and the promotion and preservation of this music.