People In The News - Harold Stein Inducted Into International Filk Hall Of Fame
Thursday, August 15, 2019 at 9:05PM

Harold Stein Inducted into the International Filk Hall of Fame

At the 2019 FilKONtario’s 31st Convention held in Toronto (Canada) on the April 12-14 weekend, Harold Stein was honored (posthumously) with the presentation of his induction into the International Filk Hall of Fame.  Filk is the folk singing genre of the Science Fiction community and members gather at various locations both nationally and internationally.  The Filk Hall of Fame inducts up to three people annually, who have made a difference in one way or another – by their singing or their “backstage” efforts – over a minimum period of five to ten years, and who had been nominated by their peers. This ensures that the contribution is truly of enduring value.

The Jury, which includes the one member of the FilKONtario convention committee plus Harold Stein at the Sat. night Filk at I-Con 27 in 2008 (Photo by Lenny Provenzano) one representative from each of the other filk convention committee members since the last FilKONtario, critically reviews the nominations. The jury makes selections based on the quality and detail of the information in the nominations and not on personal information they may have. Contributions to filk music and the filk community, of a lasting value, are important. Each honoree’s nomination is made into a Citation, and the new members of the Filk Hall of Fame are inducted at the FilKONtario banquet. There, members of the committee read the Citations (which are based on the nominations) and presented to the Inductees with their individual plaques. Their names are added to the Filk Hall of Fame cumulative plaque. A Hall of Fame Plaque is also handed out. They are also honored in song, at the Hall of Fame Concert the next afternoon.

Harold Stein was the closest to an official filk archivist, amassing and cataloging a collection of filk convention material, recorded performances (from national and international concerts to local “house filk” gatherings).  He make sure that performers had an opportunity to obtain copies of their performances and in his archivist role he worked to identify and preserve many recordings (from a variety of sources).  He was respectful of people’s wishes and intellectual property as noted on his website — “Do Not Record requests are always honored.” He would not include any music or songs on CD’s (that were made available to other filkers) unless he had written permission to do so. Harold assisted in running sound at innumerable conferences and ran filk programming at I-Con 2008 and I-Con 2009, and was the Techno-Guest at ConCertino in 2009.  From as early as the mid-1990’s he was a volunteer at every convention he attended for the sound crew and for the art shows.

His mother, Phyllis Stein of Hauppauge, Long Island, (on being informed that Harold was being inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame) explained, “Harold had often said that there were so many others that he felt were so deserving of this honor and that he felt he had several years (and others to go first) to be recognized at the Filking Hall of Fame.  He also said repeatedly that he was making sure to withhold his cancer fighting time from everyone (those who knew were sworn to secrecy, so to speak) so that it would not affect his eligibility status — he was truly “the listener” and all of us (his parents and his cousin/”big brother” Larry Levy of Rockville Centre, Long Island) had planned to be in Ohio in October 2018 to see him receive his recognition at the Ohio Valley Filk Fest event as the “Listener Guest of Honor”.  He did not make it there in person but was certainly there in spirit and he made sure to hold on until his longtime friends — Merav, Lisa, Spencer, Josh, Mark, Sue, Batya and Alex, coming from Brooklyn to Boston to the Chicago areas— were able to visit him, so that he could see them during his last few weeks as well on the night before he died and to hear some of the music from that Ohio weekend.”

Article originally appeared on Smithtown Matters - Online Local News about Smithtown, Kings Park, St James, Nesconset, Commack, Hauppauge, Ft. Salonga (
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