As a solo flutist and recorder player, as director of the historical performance group Florilegium, and as an educator, Ashley Solomon has exerted strong influence on the early music scene in Britain and beyond, often championing the music of Georg Philipp Telemann.
Solomon was born in England's Sussex region in 1968. He earned a scholarship in recorder and flute to the Royal College of Music in London, graduating with first-class honors and then winning a Countess of Munster Musical Trust financial award for postgraduate study. After studies with Peter Holtslag on recorder and Lisa Beznosiuk on flute, he graduated in 1991 and promptly took home first prize in the Moeck International Recorder Competition. That led to a solo debut recital at Wigmore Hall in London and to credibility in establishing a new early music group, Florilegium, with harpsichordist Neal Peres da Costa. Solomon soon emerged as the group's director, and he was named professor at his alma mater in 1994.
Solomon made his debut on recordings with Florilegium in 1993 and as a soloist the following year, with a CD of flute and recorder music of the Italian Baroque on the Meridian label, soon moving to Channel Classics in the Netherlands, where he also records with Florilegium. His solo recordings have included the complete flute sonatas of Bach in two volumes, as well as a recording of music for period harp and flute with works by Mozart, Rossini, Gluck, Naderman, Bochsa, and Tulou; Florilegium's repertory, too, has extended forward into the Romantic period. Solomon has toured with Florilegium and also with the Australian Chamber Orchestra during that group's first international heyday in the late 1990s. Solomon has performed as a soloist throughout Europe, the Americas, the Far East, and Australia. Appointed Head of Historical Performance at the RCM in 2006, he was given a personal chair there in 2014. He has also toured Bolivia three times with Florilegium and educated young musicians there. In 2017 he released a recording of Telemann's 12 Fantasias for solo flute, using three distinctive period flutes: one made from wood, one porcelain, and one ivory.