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 12 Collections and/or Records:
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
Scope and Contents Letter, 1 April 1901, London, H. A. Scott to [Sophie Weisse]. Thanking Miss. Weisse for Berlin press cuttings on Tovey, discussing the first performance of the Goldberg variations. Holograph signed.
Dates: 01 April 1901
Scope and Contents Letter, 20 January 1893, London, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Explaining that Tovey has been too busy to send a card to Miss. Weisse and description of a performance. Photocopy of a typescript copy.
Dates: 20 January 1893
Scope and Contents Letter, 12 January 1891, London, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Details of a performance of The Messiah at the Albert Hall, and details of Tovey's social life. Photocopy of holograph signed.
Dates: 12 January 1891
Scope and Contents Letter, 12 January 1891, London Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Description of a concert at The Royal Albert Hall, and a ` drawing room performance' Tovey gave.. Holograph signed.
Dates: 12 January 1891
Scope and Contents Letter, 26 March [n.y], London, Unknown to Sophie Weisse. Enclosing a fee for a concert performance by Tovey of his own work, and praising the music. Holograph incomplete.
Dates: c 26 March 1900
Scope and Contents Letter, 22 February 1911, London, William Strecker to Sophie Weisse. Suggesting that Tovey approach Lord Plymouth and praising a concerto. Typescript signed.
Dates: 22 February 1911
Scope and Contents Letter, 25 October 1911, London, William Strecker to Sophie Weisse. Informing Miss. Weisse of the cheapest estimate for engraving and printing Tovey's Sonata and quintette, and discussing their publication to coincide with performance. Typescript signed.
Dates: 25 October 1911
Scope and Contents Letter, 20 April 1912, London, William Strecker to Sophie Weisse news of how many tickets have been sold for Tovey's Chelsea concerts. Holograph signed.
Dates: 20 April 1912
Scope and Contents Letter, 21 May 1913, London, William Strecker to Sophie Weisse. Enclosing the account of the Chelsea concerts, which is deficit by sixty pounds, discussion of the unnecessary expense of the concerts. Typescript signed.
Dates: 21 May 1913