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 24 Collections and/or Records:
Scope and Contents Letter ( post script), , 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.
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, 12 September [n.y], Alice M. Price to Sophie Weisse. Looking forward to Tovey's piano recital, and informing Miss. Weisse of Prices visit to Englefield Green. Holograph signed.
Dates: c 12 September 1900
Scope and Contents Letter, 27 November 1906, Hertfordshire, Antonia Speyer to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for her kindness and describing Tovey's playing as exquisite. Holograph signed.
Dates: 27 November 1906
Scope and Contents Letter, 10 May 1901, Ascot, Mary Ponsonby to Sophie Weisse. Informing Miss. Weisse how thoroughly Ponsonby enjoyed Tovey's concert of the Bach variations and asking Miss. Weisse a question about a sewage pipe. Holograph signed.
Dates: 10 May 1901
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, 19 May 1897, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Praising a concert both had attended, thanking Miss. Weisse for a cheque, and news from Oxford. Holograph signed, with duplicate typescript copy, p. 26 x 21cm.
Dates: 19 May 1897
Scope and Contents Letter, 25 May 1897, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Tovey trying to sort out a misunderstanding between his father and Miss. Weisse and expressing anger that Tovey had not been chosen to play the piano at the Oxford club. Typescript copy.
Dates: 25 May 1897
Scope and Contents Letter, 20 June 1897, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Information on Tovey's progress at Balliol, description of a performance and outlining future plans. Holograph signed, with duplicate typescript copy, 26 x 21cm.
Dates: 20 June 1897
Scope and Contents Letter, 5 August 1897, Bayreuth, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Description of music Tovey has heard in Bayreuth, including Wagner's, 'Ring', and music by Mozart, informing Miss. Weisse of Tovey's purchase of a book of Rhine legends. Holograph signed, with two duplicate typescript copies, p. 26 x 20cm..
Dates: 05 August 1897