As the lights in Knuth Hall at SF State dim, the audience erupts in cheers as Easther Oh takes the stage with a beaming smile and a brief bow. As the clapping fades, there is a pause saturated with anticipation as she sits at the piano bench, places her fingers on the keys, and takes a deep breath before launching into Domenico Scarlatti’s “Sonato in F minor.”
Easther Oh, 22, began playing piano at the very young age of five.
“Being Asian, it’s kind of mandatory,” she says with a laugh.
In addition to the piano, the Salinas native also plays the cello. Outside of school she volunteers her musical skills for a theater group in San Mateo who puts on kids-only Broadway shows.
She looks calm and at ease as her fingers carefully play through Robert Schumann’s “Romance in F sharp major, Op. 28, No. 2.” Oh chose piano as her major to make her mom happy, but also because music is what makes her feel the most comfortable. Oh plans on joining the military after she graduates, explaining with a sigh that the musical world is too competitive and she is worried she will not be able to find a job.