Ashley studied at the Birmingham Conservatoire with Jacqueline Ross where he won the Herbert Lumby Violin Prize, Rollason Music Award, Ludlow Philharmonic Prize and a Worshipful Company of Musicians Medal.
He played with the City of Birmingham Orchestra and the Birmingham Ensemble while studying at the Conservatoire.
In 1994 Ashley was awarded scholarships for Tanglewood Summer Festival and the New England Conservatory in Boston, USA, under the direction of Malcolm Lowe (Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra). During his stay in Boston he played regularly with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Benjamin Zander and with the Gardner Chamber Orchestra.
Following his return from the USA he became a member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.