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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 96 Collections and/or Records:

Letter to Dr Mary Gardner Grierson from Sophie Weisse, 15 June 1932

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2584
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

Letter to Dr Mary Gardner Grierson from Sophie Weisse, 01 October 1935

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2597
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

Letter to Elizabeth Trevelyan from Percy Such, 11 July 1909

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2504
Scope and Contents

Letter, 11 July 1909, London, Percy Such to Elizabeth Trevelyan. Apologising for a misunderstanding caused by a letter from Miss. Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan and attempting to reconcile offence caused by meeting with Trevelyan. Holograph signed.

Dates: 11 July 1909

Letter to Robert Calverley Trevelyan from Hubert James Foss, 12 January 1944

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2156
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

Letter to Sir Donald Francis Tovey from B. Warre Cornish, c1916

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2090
Scope and Contents

Letter, [1916], London, B. Warre Cornish to Donald Tovey. Affectionately telling Miss. Weisse of family news. Holograph signed.

Dates: c1916

Letter to Sir Donald Francis Tovey from Sophie Weisse, 07 June 1919

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L1899
Scope and Contents

Letter, 7 June 1919, London, Sophie Weisse to Donald Tovey. Discussion of infants, and of Tovey's visit to England. Holograph signed.

Dates: 07 June 1919

Letter to Sophie Weise from Fanny Davies, c13 November 1900

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2111
Scope and Contents

Letter, 13 November [n.y], London, Fanny Davies to Sophie Weise. Thanking Miss. Weisse and Tovey for a ticket to a concert. Holograph signed.

Dates: c13 November 1900

Letter to Sophie Weisse from A. J. Hipkins, 15 October 1902

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2228
Scope and Contents

Letter, 15 October 1902, London, A. J. Hipkins to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for her letter concerning concert tickets, comments on the young Tovey. Holograph signed.

Dates: 15 October 1902

Letter to Sophie Weisse from Alfred James Hipkins, 16 March 1900

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2227
Scope and Contents

Letter, 16 March 1900, London, A. J. Hipkins to Sophie Weisse. Praising a work by Tovey and agreeing to promote and support Tovey. Holograph signed.

Dates: 16 March 1900

Letter to Sophie Weisse from C. Haydin Coffin, 16 December 1906

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2208
Scope and Contents

Letter, 16 December 1906, London, C. Haydin Coffin to Sophie Weisse. Accepting Miss. Weisse's kind offer of fifty pounds. Holograph signed.

Dates: 16 December 1906

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  • Subject: London (England) X

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Social Interaction 49
Instruction and Study 16
Performance practice (Music) 13
Performances 12
Professional Interaction 9