Aileen Sweeney is currently in her first year of postgraduate studies in composition at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In April 2018, Aileen became the inaugural recipient of the Geddes-Peterson composition prize at RCS. Prior to this, Aileen graduated from The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with First Class Honours having studied a Bachelor of Music degree in Classical Accordion and Composition.
In March 2016, she performed Piazzolla’s Concerto for Bandoneon with orchestra conducted by David Watkin as a finalist of The Edinburgh Festival Concerto Competition. In her third year, she was awarded the Dunbar-Gerber Prize for Chamber Music and in her first year, Aileen was awarded the Tony and Tania Webster Prize for Rare Russian Music.
Her other accomplishments in accordion include winning First Prize in the UK Accordion Senior Recital 2012 and 2013 and Second Prize in the International Accordion Championship Open Solo 2012 and 2013.
Aileen has always had a love of Scottish music since learning the accordion age 11 at St. Roch's Irish Minstrels CCE branch of Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann. During this time, Aileen enjoyed playing with the branch in the Scottish, British and World Championships in both solo and group categories. She is delighted to be performing regularly with Eriska.
Scott Figgins is a Scottish traditional musician from the West coast of Scotland, playing highland bagpipes and bellow-blown pipes; guitar; and whistle. He has just graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland with a BMus(Hons) in Traditional Music. With a wealth of experience playing in pipe bands, as a solo player and in the traditional and folk music scene, Scott is a well-rounded musician with invaluable experience playing in competition, concert, private functions and informal atmospheres. Striving to innovate and collaborate across genres, Scott is always keen to perform and try anything new.
Some competition highlights include becoming European and then World Pipe Band Champions in Grade 2 with the Glasgow Skye Association Pipe Band in 2017. Scott now competes regularly with the band in Grade 1. Scott has also done a lot of collaborative work: being part of local Fèis events; the ‘Monster Folk Group’ project; the North Ayrshire Schools Traditional Music Group; Celtic Connections Festival; ‘National Fête de la Musique’ in France; performing on BBC Radio Scotland; and pipe band work. He also won the Young Burnsian of the Year Award for 2014 and has appeared in concert alongside the likes of Phil Cunningham, Ali Bain, Eddi Reader, Dougie MacLean and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.
In addition to experience performing, Scott also teaches in local schools, taking on all levels from complete beginner to experienced learners of all ages.
Madeleine Stewart is a fiddler whose music is rooted in the eclectic traditions of New England. Originally from New Hampshire, she was awarded an apprenticeship in 2013 from the New Hampshire Council for the Arts, during which time she studied intensively with fiddler Lissa Schneckenburger (Low Lily). Now in Glasgow, Madeleine studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS), where Scottish and Irish styles influenced her playing, resulting in a captivating transatlantic blend. Along with Eriska, she has played with her own trio, Christy Scott, Eriska, and RCS’s hand-picked band Úr in 2017; she has also collaborated with musicians both in the United States and Scotland. Between all these projects, Madeleine has performed at Celtic Connections, Celtic Colours and the Boston Celtic Music Festival, as well as other festivals
around Scotland and New England.
Dario Palazzo is a guitarist based in Glasgow, Scotland. Whilst at university, Dario studied under the guidance of some of Scotland’s highly acclaimed guitarists such as Robin Robertson and Malcolm MacFarlane. Through this, Dario has gained experience and knowledge in an array of different styles including Jazz, Blues, Rock and Soul, all of which he brings into light within the music of Eriska.
Having graduated with a BMus (Hons) Music Performance degree from Kingston University, London, Dario has been involved in many musical endeavours including performing with many singer-songwriters across Scotland, performing solo guitar works in his ancestral village of Tocco Caudio, Italy, working with various function bands, as well as performing regularly with Eriska.
Aside from live performance, Dario is a music tutor and works closely with Music based mental health and well-being charity, Rookie Rockstars.
Dario uses :
D’Addario Strings and Cables
G7th Capos (G7th Artist)
DV Mark Amps
Dunlop/Way Huge Effects
TC Electronic Effects
Voodoo Labs Power Supplies
Julián Pombo moved from Argentina with his family to Scotland in 2002. He started his musical education learning the flute aged 10 and then discovering the bass guitar aged 12. After being self taught for 8 years he began getting lessons on bass guitar and double bass at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under Mario Caribe, and graduated last year after completing the BMus Jazz course. Julián is a full on music nerd and brings everything he listens to to the Eriska writing process. His influences span a ludicrous amount of genres but his main bass heroes are James Jamerson, Tina Weymouth and Chris Squire.
Gavin Paterson is a recording engineer and musician based in Glasgow, Scotland. Gavin built and now runs his own recording studio business called Studio 1790 which is based near Cumbernauld and he produced Eriska's album 'At the Wrong Gig'.