Skip to main content

Weisse, Sophie, 1852-1945 (Scottish music teacher)

 Person

Dates

  • 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 692 Collections and/or Records:

Letter to Dr Mary Gardner Grierson from Sophie Weisse, 01 December 1938

 Item
Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2611
Scope and Contents Letter, 1 December 1938, Edinburgh, Sophie Weisse to Mary Grierson. Arranging to meet, discussion of Tovey's heart condition. Holograph signed.
Dates: 01 December 1938

Letter to Dr Mary Gardner Grierson from Sophie Weisse, 28 August 1939

 Item
Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2612
Scope and Contents Letter, 28 August 1939, Surrey, Sophie Weisse to Mary Grierson. Expressing anxiety over the threat of a European war and over Tovey's health. Holograph signed.
Dates: 28 August 1939

Letter to [ Dr Mary Gardner Grierson ] from Sophie Weisse, c1935

 Item
Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2615
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], Surrey, Sophie Weisse to [ Mary Grierson ]. Discussion of what Tovey should be given when he is ill, Bovril or chicken jelly. Holograph incomplete.
Dates: c1935

Letter to Dr Mary Gardner Grierson from Sophie Weisse, c1935

 Item
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 Dr Mary Gardner Grierson from Sophie Weisse, c1935

 Item
Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2618
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], Surrey, Sophie Weisse to Mary Grierson. News of Tovey's illness and anxiety over Lady Tovey's charge of Tovey. Holograph signed.
Dates: c1935

Letter to [Edward Speyer] from Andreas Moser, 23 October 1924

 Item
Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2324
Scope and Contents Letter, 23 October 1924, Berlin, Andreas Moser to [Edward Speyer]. Commenting on a translation, and recommending Dr. Knill as an honest and true man. Holograph signed, L2317 - L2325 sewn together in a book.
Dates: 23 October 1924

Letter to Edward Speyer from Sir Donald Francis Tovey, 20 March 1905

 Item
Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L161
Scope and Contents Letter, 20 March 1905, Surrey, Donald Tovey to Edward Speyer. Explaining the letter of complaint Tovey wrote to 'The Smiths', concert agents. Holograph signed, L156 - L161 sewn together.
Dates: 20 March 1905

Letter to Edward Speyer from Sir Donald Francis Tovey, 22 April 1909

 Item
Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L176
Scope and Contents Letter, 22 April 1909, Utrecht, Donald Tovey to Edward Speyer. Concerning a concert involving Casals and Lady Halle. Holograph signed, L169 - L176 sewn together.
Dates: 22 April 1909

Letter to Edward Speyer from Sophie Weisse, c1920

 Item
Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2624
Scope and Contents Letter, [1911], Sophie Weisse to Edward Speyer. Condemning the classical concert series and Tovey's part in their organisation. Typescript copy.
Dates: c1920

Letter to Elizabeth Trevelyan from Percy Such, 11 July 1909

 Item
Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2504
Scope and Contents Letter, 11 July 1909, London, Percy Such to Elizabeth Trevelyan. Apologising for a misunderstanding caused by a letter from Miss. Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan and attempting to reconcile offence caused by meeting with Trevelyan. Holograph signed.
Dates: 11 July 1909