Ivan Stiles is known in autoharp circles across the country as an autoharpist of unique ability; not just as a performer, but also as a recording artist, instructor, author, and co-founder and co-editor of Autoharp Quarterly magazine from 1988 until 1997.
He performs nationwide at fairs, festivals, coffeehouses, colleges, and clubs. In addition to the autoharp, he plays the Appalachian dulcimer, bowed psaltery, and musical saw. Ivan has given concerts and workshops since 1980 at such places as the Walnut Valley Festival, Mountain Laurel Autoharp Gathering (where he also served as program director from 1991 until 2005), Willamette Valley Autoharp Gathering, Cranberry Dulcimer Gathering, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Stringalong Weekends, California Traditional Music Society Summer Solstice, Augusta Heritage Arts Workshops, Swannanoa Gathering, Brandywine Mountain Music Convention, John C. Campbell Folk School, and the Ozark Folk Center.
He has four recordings: Rounding
Pickering Bend, released in 1986, Pickin' On The Porch, released in 1992, and Promises Kept, released in 2002, all featuring the autoharp. A fourth CD featuring musical saw was released in 2004. In 2003, Ivan was invited to participate in an autoharp recording project with over 55 of the world's finest autoharp players. His duet, Waltzing Matilda, with Richard Scholtz is included on this 3-CD set entitled Autoharp Legacy. He also has authored a book, Jigs and Reels For The Autoharp. Stiles is included on Music From Autoharp Quarterly Vol.1, 2, and 3 and on a children's recording produced by Sally Weaver of Sally's
Ivan won first place in the 2006 Mountain Laurel Autoharp Championship, the 1991 International Autoharp Championship, the 1987 World Autoharp Championship, and the 1985 Great Lakes Regional Autoharp Championship. Additionally, he has been a six-time finalist in the International Autoharp Championship, taking third place twice and second place once. He was also a nominee in the autoharp category of the National Music Performer Awards in 1992. In 2000, Ivan was inducted into The Autoharp Hall of Fame.