John Elias Kaynor is currently pursuing a Professional Artist Certificate at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he is the graduate teaching assistant to Dr. Brooks Whitehouse and collaborates actively in the Giannini String Quartet of the Chrysalis Chamber Music Institute. Eli holds a Master of Music degree from UNCSA, and also a Bachelor of Music degree from Chapman University as both a Cello Performance Major in the Conservatory of Music and a Presidential Scholar in the University Honors Program.
As cellist of the Giannini String Quartet, Eli has had recent success with the group, including sharing the stage with pipa virtuoso of the Silk Road Ensemble, Wu Man, and performing for world-renowned cellist, Yo-Yo Ma. Giannini has also appeared in master classes at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for Emerson Quartet musicians, Paul Watkins and Philip Setzer, and violinist Sean Lee. This past year the group earned second prize and the alternate slot for the National Finals of the MTNA Chamber Music competition. In May of 2015, Giannini completed a tour of Spain, leading concerts and master classes in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, and Alicante.
Eli has won major competitions performing Haydn’s C Major Cello Concerto with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra in Boston, MA, and most recently, performing the Schumann Cello Concerto with the Chapman Orchestra in Orange, CA. Eli is also an avid runner, contradance cellist, and comic book enthusiast.