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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 82 Collections and/or Records:

Letter ( post script) to Sophie Weisse from Sir Donald Francis Tovey, c1922

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L670
Scope and Contents

Letter ( post script), [1922], Canstatt, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Description of a production of Salome and a Roger concert, and news of Swoboda. Holograph signed, post-script of L669.

Dates: c1922

Letter to Dr Mary Gardner Grierson from Sophie Weisse, 09 August 1925

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2582
Scope and Contents

Letter, 9 August 1925, Surrey, Sophie Weisse to Mary Grierson. Requesting information about the parts to Tovey's symphony for a performance in Dresden. Holograph signed.

Dates: 09 August 1925

Letter to Dr Mary Gardner Grierson from Sophie Weisse, c1935

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2616
Scope and Contents

Letter, [n.d], Edinburgh, Sophie Weisse to Mary Grierson. Recounting a story of a performance of a Bach work by Tovey and Casals. Holograph signed.

Dates: c1935

Letter to F. W. Kelly from Sophie Weisse, c1930

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2636
Scope and Contents

Letter, [n.d], Sophie Weisse to F. W. Kelly. Arranging to perform a Brahms work and suggesting that Kelly should compose a work for Tovey. Holograph incomplete.

Dates: c1930

Letter to Mary Tovey from Sophie Weisse, 01 May 1905

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2626
Scope and Contents

Letter, 1 May 1905, Cologne, Sophie Weisse to Mary Tovey. Informing Mrs. Tovey that her son is well and to play in some forthcoming concerts. Holograph signed.

Dates: 01 May 1905

Letter to Robert Calverley Trevelyan from Sir Donald Francis Tovey, c1914

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L201
Scope and Contents

Letter, [1914], Peterborough, Donald Tovey to Robert Trevelyan. Tovey outlining where and for whom he will perform. Ms. transcript by Hubert Foss.

Dates: c1914

Letter to [Robert Calverley Trevelyan] from Sophie Weisse, 14 December 1916

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2633
Scope and Contents

Letter, 14 December 1916, Surrey, Sophie Weisse to [Robert Trevelyan]. Describing a performance of ' The Frogs'. Holograph signed, letter written to ' you rascally poet'.

Dates: 14 December 1916

Letter to Sir Donald Francis Tovey from Sophie Weisse, c1914

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L1926
Scope and Contents

Letter, 24 February [n.y], Surrey, Sophie Weisse to Donald Tovey. Discussion of Clegg's first concert and the advertisements for it. Holograph signed.

Dates: c1914

Letter to Sir Donald Francis Tovey from Sophie Weisse, c1920

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L1928
Scope and Contents

Letter, [n.d], Sophie Weisse to Donald Tovey. Describing a performance of the first act of Cosi fan tutte. Holograph signed in pencil, on envelope containing a black and white portrait of Sophie Weisse.

Dates: c1920

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

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  • Subject: Performances X

Additional filters:

Social Interaction 24
Concert Programs 13
Oxford Oxfordshire England 13
London (England) 12
Surrey (England) 8