For a pianist who breaks the rules, Wang Xiaohan is getting a lot of positive attention.

The Van Cliburn International Piano Competition finalist, who dared to play one his own compositions during the competition, will perform as part of the Hope College Great Performance Series on Thursday, Oct. 17.

Not only did he break an unwritten rule when he played one of his own compositions, he did it when he was just 20 years old. The youngest of the finalists for the recent prestigious competition, the China native did not expect to make it as far as he did.

But his playing is winning over audiences in the United States and Europe.

James McQuillen of "The Oregonian" has said that "Wang has confidence and maturity beyond his years... his details are clear and crisp; and rhythmic spring and incisiveness are hallmarks of his playing."

His solo performance at Hope will include works by Baldassare Galuppi, Robert Schumann, Claude Debussy and Alexander Scriabin.

Not afraid of a challenge, Wang in his program also includes Franz Schubert's "Fantasy in C major, D. 760," commonly known as the "Wanderer" piece. A forceful, energetic piece, it is so difficult even Schubert could not play it.

Wang will end his performance with one of his own compositions.

He began his career when he entered the pre- college division of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing at age 10. A prize-winner in several regional and national competitions in China, he took third prize at the 1997 ARD Competition in Munich, his first international competition.

As a finalist of the Eleventh Van Cliburn International Competition, Wang was awarded two years of concert engagements and career management. He was also featured in a documentary on the competition directed by Emmy-award-winning Peter Rosen, which has appeared on PBS stations throughout the country.

Tickets for Wang's performance cost $14 for regular admission, $12 for senior citizens, and $5 for Hope students and children under 18. Tickets will be on sale on Tuesday-Thursday, Oct. 15-17, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the box office in the DeWitt Center, and at the door. They may be ordered by phone by calling (616) 395-7890.

Dimnent Memorial Chapel is located on College Avenue at 12th Street.