We are a tenacious and energetic classical piano trio based in Philadelphia. An ethnically diverse group, we are enriched, influenced, and mutually intrigued by various foreign cultures. Our violinist Azer Damirov was born in Russia but is of Azerbaijani descent. American cellist Julia Morelli was born to Ukrainian and Italian parents, and having been raised in the Eastern Orthodox Christian church, she was surrounded by many cultures. Our American pianist Gretchen Hull is part Scandinavian, and has begun to develop fluency in the Norwegian language. This great multitude of cultural ties frequently influences our musical decisions, discussions, and choice of restaurant. We work with Vladimir Dyo, Eduard Schmieder, and Jeffrey Solow.
Azer graduated from the Musical College of the Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory in the class of Professor Maria Keselman in 2007 with an equivalent of a Bachelor Degree Diploma. He participated in master classes and festivals in Dortmund in Germany, Britten-Pearce Orchestra in Great Britain, and Volga Regional Young Symphony festival. Recipient of the Ministry of Culture Russian Federation's Stipend, Azer is a Laureate of numerous national competitions. In 2007 Azer received a Diploma at the 14th Andrea Postacchini International Violin Competition in Fermo, Italy, and a special iPalpiti prize for participation in the iPalpiti Festival of International Laureates in Los Angeles. In the fall 2010, Azer was accepted into Bachelor of Music Program at Boyer College at Temple University in the class of Professor Schmieder, where, subsequently he completed his Master's degree in 2013, and currently pursues a Doctoral degree in Music Performance.
He was a member of iPalpiti in its winter East Coast residency and concerts at the Kimmel Center and Carnegie Hall, its Northern California tour, and iPalpiti festivals in Los Angeles. As a Winner of the American Protege International Competition of Romantic Music 2012 he performed at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall.
Julia Morelli received her Bachelor of Music at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, IN where she studied with Emilio Colon. She completed one year of her Master of Music degree at Boston University where she studied with the late Marc Johnson. Julia will be completing her Master of Music at Temple University in Philadelphia studying with Jeffrey Solow.
Julia has played in masterclasses for Arto Noras, Marc Coppey, Stephen Balderston, Rafael Figueroa, Anthony Elliot, and more. Her trios and quartets have been coached by musicians such as Steven Ansell, Alex Kerr, Eteri Andjaparidze, Philippe Entremont, Eduard Schmieder, John Koen, and Vladimir Dyo. Julia has enjoyed playing with Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Carmel Symphony Orchestra, Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra, and Columbus Symphony Orchestra of Indiana. She has also played orchestral backup for popular music figures such as Michael Feinstein, Chris Botti, Dionne Warwick, Neil Sedaka, and the Ahn Trio.
Julia greatly values musical outreach efforts. She has played for several not-for-profit musical organizations such as ROK: Reimagining Opera for Kids, NERO: New England Repertory Orchestra, New England Chamber Players, and Arts Outreach Initiative. Julia also plays for retirement communities and has organized and played in free concerts for the public.
Julia teaches for Tune Up Philly and PRYSM, in Philadelphia. Additionally, she teaches private lessons for cello students and has instructed cello students at Sierra Academy of Music in Mammoth Lakes, California.
Currently a doctoral student and graduate fellow at Temple University in the studio of Charles Abramovic, Gretchen Hull received her master's degree at the same and her undergraduate degree from Houghton College, where she studied under Fleisher student William Newbrough. Gretchen has performed recitals for WSKG's televised series Expressions, the Classical Pianists of the Future series, the OASIS concert series, the Immanuel Episcopal Concert Series, and multiple times for the Civic Morning Musical Wednesday Recital Series at the Everson Museum of Art (Syracuse). Gretchen has been heard performing and/or been interviewed on the WCNY, WSKG, and WPEL radio stations, as well as WSKG's television show Artist Café. A past participant in the Chautauqua Piano Program and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival, this past summer she was a semifinalist at the PIANALE International Piano Academy and Competition in Schlitz, Germany. She has performed in masterclasses led by Garrick Ohlsson, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Jerome Rose, Marcantonio Balone, Angela Cheng, and Sonia Lee (harpsichord). Gretchen is also a piano faculty member at the Csehy Summer School of Music. Past teachers include Ms. Rebecca Penneys, Dr. Michael Landrum, Dr. Samuel Hsu, and Ms. Monique Leduc.