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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:

Letter to [Antonia Speyer] from Sophie Weisse, c1920

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2658
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.

Dates: c1920

Letter to Dr Mary Gardner Grierson from Sophie Weisse, 11 October 1935

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2598
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

Letter to Dr Mary Gardner Grierson from Sophie Weisse, 14 September 1936

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2600
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

Letter to Edward Speyer from Sir Donald Francis Tovey, 22 April 1909

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L176
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

Letter to Edward Speyer from Sophie Weisse, c1920

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2624
Scope and Contents

Letter, [1911], Sophie Weisse to Edward Speyer. Condemning the classical concert series and Tovey's part in their organisation. Typescript copy.

Dates: c1920

Letter to Sir Donald Francis Tovey from Sophie Weisse, 01 December 1921

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L1907
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

Letter to Sophie Weisse from Elizabeth Edith Balfour, 21 February 1909

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2017
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

Letter to Sophie Weisse from Elizabeth Edith Balfour, c1900

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2019
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.

Dates: c1900

Letter to Sophie Weisse from John Alexander Fuller - Maitland, c 15 May 1908

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2168
Scope and Contents

Letter, 15 May [1908], 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

Letter to Sophie Weisse from John Alexander Fuller-Maitland, c1920

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2170
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.

Dates: c1920

Filtered By

  • Subject: Concert Programs X

Additional filters:

Social Interaction 22
Performances 13
Oxford Oxfordshire England 12
London (England) 6
Guildford (England) 5