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 56 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, 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, 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 1901, Oxford, Hubert C. Parry to Sophie Weisse. Expressing pleasure at hearing news of Tovey. Holograph signed.
Dates: 08 May 1901
Scope and Contents Letter, 14 October 1894, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Description of Tovey settling in to his Balliol room and requesting his tennis racket be sent. Holograph signed.
Dates: 14 October 1894
Scope and Contents Letter, , Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Criticism of a concert Tovey attended, description of a concert Tovey gave and description of Tovey's Oxford contemporaries. Holograph signed.
Scope and Contents Letter, 27 April 1895, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Covering note for letter from Hipkins to Tovey. Holograph signed, with letter 26 April 1895, from Alfred Hipkins to Donald Tovey, consoling Tovey for not receiving an Oxford music scholarship, with envelope.
Dates: 27 April 1895