Weisse, Sophie, 1852-1945 (Scottish music teacher)
- Existence: 1852-1945
Sophie Weisse was born in Edinburgh in 1852 to a German father and Lithuanian mother. Little is known of her early life and education. In 1892, she founded the all-girls school of Northlands in Surrey, which she ran for twenty-five years. Although Northlands was a school of general education, music was given a particularly prominent place in the curriculum, and musical celebrities were often invited to visit and perform. Weisse employed the young Donald Tovey as a pianist at the school’s concerts, which provided a launch for his career as a musician and composer. Weisse had discovered Tovey’s talent at the age of four and had managed all aspects of his education. She further supported his career by funding the publication of his works between 1903 and 1913. Weisse and Tovey maintained a lifelong relationship. When Tovey was appointed to Edinburgh University’s Reid Chair of Music in 1914, Weisse followed him to Edinburgh. As Reid Professor, Tovey bestowed on Weisse an honorary degree of Doctor of Music in 1936. Weisse died in Guildford in 1945.
Weisse was a major benefactor of the University of Edinburgh. On Tovey’s death in 1941, she gifted 18 Buccleuch Place to the University as 'The Tovey Memorial Rooms', with the intention that it be used for student study. She also gifted the University portraits of Tovey and herself by Philip de Laszlo and endowed the Tovey Memorial Prize as an annual award for the most promising undergraduate composer or performer in the Faculty of Music. Her collection of around 600 books and scores relating to Beethoven was purchased by the University in 1948.
Found in 55 Collections and/or Records:
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], Sophie Weisse to [Antonia Speyer]. A condemnation of the Classical concerts and a suggestion that this concert series should not be continued. Typescript copy.
Scope and Contents Letter, 11 October 1935, Surrey, Sophie Weisse to Mary Grierson. News of Miss. Weisses brothers death, requesting that Grierson get a ticket for the Reid concert series and a description of Tovey's parents last years. Holograph signed.
Dates: 11 October 1935
Scope and Contents Letter, 14 September 1936, Bad Nauheim, Sophie Weisse to Mary Grierson. Expressing the feeling that Tovey is a character in a Greek tragedy, requesting a subscription seat to The Reid concerts. Holograph signed.
Dates: 14 September 1936
Scope and Contents Letter, 22 April 1909, Utrecht, Donald Tovey to Edward Speyer. Concerning a concert involving Casals and Lady Halle. Holograph signed, L169 - L176 sewn together.
Dates: 22 April 1909
Scope and Contents Letter, , Sophie Weisse to Edward Speyer. Condemning the classical concert series and Tovey's part in their organisation. Typescript copy.
Scope and Contents Letter, 1 December 1921, Surrey, Sophie Weisse to Donald Tovey. Approving a concert programme of Tovey's, and news of Emmanuel Moor. Holograph signed.
Dates: 01 December 1921
Scope and Contents Letter, 21 February 1909, Woking, Betty Balfour to Sophie Weisse. Expressing delight at Tovey's visit, and details of a planned recital and concert. Holograph signed.
Dates: 21 February 1909
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], Woking, Betty Balfour to Sophie Weisse. Covering letter for the Fishers Hill concert programmes, and financial arrangements. Holograph signed.
Scope and Contents Letter, 15 May , London, J. A. Fuller-Maitland to Sophie Weisse. Discussion of tickets for concerts. Ms. Transcript, in Hubert Foss' s hand.
Dates: c 15 May 1908
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], London, J. A. Fuller Maitland to Sophie Weisse. Returning a list and concert programmes, borrowed from Miss. Weisse. Holograph signed.