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 95 Collections and/or Records:
Scope and Contents Letter, 27 November 1941, Oxford, Margaret Maitland to Hubert Foss. Informing Foss of Maitland's relationship to Tovey and reminiscences of Tovey and Maitland's youth. Holograph signed.
Dates: 27 November 1941
Scope and Contents Letter, 21 May 1941, Oxford, A. D. Lumsden to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for sending a chalk drawing of Tovey to Balliol college, Oxford. Holograph signed, with stamped envelope.
Dates: 21 May 1941
Scope and Contents Letter, 23 January 1917, Oxford, Arthur L. Smith to Sophie Weisse. A discussion of and suggested draft for Miss. Weisse's proposed Tovey memorial scholarship. Typescript signed.
Dates: 23 January 1917
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], Oxford, Edward Caird to Sophie Weisse. Describing Tovey's academic progress, and explaining Tovey's poor performance in examinations. Holograph signed.
Scope and Contents Letter, 2 April , Oxford, Ernest Walker to Sophie Weisse. Accepting an invitation to hear Tovey play. Holograph signed.
Dates: c 02 April 1905
Scope and Contents Letter, 26 December 1908, Oxford, Ernest Walker to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for a picture of herself and Tovey, suggesting that it is a privilege to teach Tovey. Holograph signed.
Dates: 26 December 1908
Scope and Contents Letter, 2 March [n.y], Oxford, Ernest Walker to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for sending Walker tickets to go to a concert and explaining that he was unable to go. Holograph signed.
Dates: c 02 February 1900
Scope and Contents Letter, 25 November 1908, Oxford, Harold H. Joachim to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse and Tovey their kindness, and allowing Harold Joachim to hear wonderful music. Holograph signed.
Dates: 25 November 1908
Scope and Contents Letter, 8 May 1899, Oxford, John Farmer to Sophie Weisse. Praising Tovey's exceptional talent, comparing the young Tovey to Brahms. Holograph signed.
Dates: 08 May 1899
Scope and Contents Letter, , Oxford Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Details of Tovey's progress in his studies at Balliol. Holograph signed.