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OUR MISSION


 
Haakon and Martha Picture

The directors of Intl. Voice of Justice, Dr. Martha J. Smith and Dr. Haakon Smith both have earned doctorates (Ed.D.C.T.-educational doctorate in music education on the college level) from Columbia University Teachers College. Martha Smith received a Master of Music from Ohio State University, (graduating with honors) and studied in the Mozarteum, Salzburg Austria. She was awarded entrance to “Outstanding Young Women of America”. Haakon Smith received a Master of Arts and a Master of Education from Columbia University in piano, where he was a protégé of Prof. Robert Pace, world renowned piano pedagogue. Haakon holds a bachelor of arts from St. Olaf College and a performers diploma from Rogaland Conservatory of Music. He has served as director of Oslo Music Academy and has been a member of the piano faculty of Nyack College. Haakon is actively performing as a pianist, organist and accompanist.

Martha Smith has served as a teaching fellow on the voice faculty of Columbia during her studies, and as professor of voice in Nyack College and Nassau Community College-State University of New York. She has performed as a soloist in opera, in concert and with orchestra.

During the time of their studies in New York City the Smiths lived in an apartment complex built to house Jewish refugees fleeing Europe and, later, survivors of concentration camps. They became friends with many of their neighbors, who shared their experiences from the Holocaust which served as an impetus for the work of IVOJ. Returning to Europe to live, Martha and Haakon recognized the necessity to use every means possible to fight burgeoning anti-Semitism. They began by singing concerts with the Israeli Embassy and eventually took the song cycle and musical drama, “Voices of the Holocaust” (text: Martha J. Smith, music: Marilee Eckert and Martha J. Smith) to many nations in Europe.

Eventually, International Voice of Justice was incorporated as a U.S. based non-profit to continue this work. IVOJ’s productions of concerts, theater and opera have been met with standing ovations and excellent reviews in the press across Europe and in the U.S.A. In 2014, International Voice of Justice received special consultative status as an NGO listed with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.