National Centre for Early Music

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Ashley Solomon

In 1991 Ashley made his Wigmore Hall solo recital debut as a result of winning the Moeck International Recorder Competition. That same year he co-founded Florilegium and has been its director since 2001, recording to date 28 CDs for the Dutch Channel Classics label. They have performed over 1,200 concerts throughout Europe, the Americas, Australia and the Far East.  As a soloist, Ashley has performed worldwide; his recording of Bach's Flute Sonatas, volume 1 was selected as one of Gramophone's favourite CDs of 2001.  Much in demand as a teacher he has been a professor at the Royal College of Music since 1994 and given masterclasses and lectures in Australia, Singapore, the Americas and throughout Europe.  In 1998 he was made an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and, in 2000, Honorary Member of the RCM. 

In 2006 Ashley was appointed RCM's first Head of Historical Performance.  Since his appointment he has directed numerous projects including the RCM's first performance of Bach's Easter Oratorio and in January 2008 Ashley directed the first of an annual series of Bach Cantata concerts. In addition he has directed many concerts at festivals in London and further afield, and has directed foreign tours to Italy, France, Australia and Bolivia with students from Historical Performance.  For two years Ashley and his students were involved in recording all the music examples used in the permanent Medieval and Renaissance galleries in the Victoria and Albert Museum.  In February 2014 Ashley was appointed to a Personal Chair at the RCM.   

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, has directed them in concerts in Bolivia and Europe, and their four CDs.  In 2008 Ashley was the first European to be awarded the prestigious Bolivian Hans Roth Prize.  He received it in recognition of the enormous assistance he has given to the Bolivian native Indians, including the promotion and preservation of their music.

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.