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 18 Collections and/or Records:
Scope and Contents Letter, 15 June 1932, London, Sophie Weisse to Mary Grierson. Asking Grierson how Tovey is and expressing concern about his health. Holograph signed.
Dates: 15 June 1932
Scope and Contents Letter, 28 June 1932, Bad Nauheim, Sophie Weisse to Mary Grierson. Miss. Weisse expressing anxiety over Tovey's sanity and health, expressing distaste for the Wallace family. Holograph signed.
Dates: 28 June 1932
Scope and Contents Letter, 12 February 1933, Rugby, Sophie Weisse to Mary Grierson. Describing the health of Tovey's son and suggesting that Miss. Weisse should take charge of him. Holograph signed.
Dates: 12 February 1933
Scope and Contents Letter, 1 October 1935, London, Sophie Weisse to Mary Grierson. Informing Grierson that Miss. Weisses brother is dying and asking for news of Tovey's whereabouts. Holograph signed.
Dates: 01 October 1935
Scope and Contents Letter, 18 October 1938, Surrey, Sophie Weisse to Mary Grierson. News of Weisse's state of health, description of a lecture given by Tovey, news of Weisses travels in Germany. Holograph signed.
Dates: 18 October 1938
Scope and Contents Letter, 1 December 1938, Edinburgh, Sophie Weisse to Mary Grierson. Arranging to meet, discussion of Tovey's heart condition. Holograph signed.
Dates: 01 December 1938
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], Surrey, Sophie Weisse to Hubert Foss. Informing Foss that Weisse is disabled due to a scalded foot, and inviting Foss for lunch. Holograph signed.
Scope and Contents Letter, 12 January 1944, London, Hubert Foss to Robert Trevelyan. Informing Trevelyan that Foss has received a proof for an article in 'Music and letters', and news of Miss. Weisse and her state of health. Holograph signed.
Dates: 12 January 1944
Scope and Contents Letter, 20 November 1921, [Suffolk], Sophie Weisse to Donald Tovey. Discussion of Emmanuel Moor and the Aolian company, news of Tovey's adopted son and Miss. Weisse's state of health. Holograph signed.
Dates: 20 November 1921
Scope and Contents Letter, 13 April 1923, Edinburgh, Sophie Weisse to Donald Tovey. Expressing sympathy and offering help, news of Miss. Weisse's health and her mourning in the absence of the dear boy. Holograph signed.
Dates: 13 April 1923