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 49 Collections and/or Records:
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], London, Ellen Joachim to Sophie Weisse. Explaining to Miss. Weisse that the Joachim's may not be able to see her, describing the enjoyment of her last visit to Northlands. Holograph signed.
Scope and Contents Letter, 31 August [n.y], London, Emily Ritchie to Sophie Weisse. Informing Miss. Weisse of a friend's illness and impending death. Holograph signed.
Dates: c 31 August 1900
Scope and Contents Letter, 22 December 1910, London, F. Warre Cornish to Sophie Weisse. Asking if Miss. Weisse has a book of Warre Cornishes and news of how he is. Holograph signed.
Dates: 22 December 1910
Scope and Contents Letter, 23 June 1902, London, H. A. Scott to [Sophie Weisse] . Discussion of Strauss, and Tovey's valuable opinion. Holograph signed.
Dates: 23 June 1902
Scope and Contents Letter, 3 May [n.y], London, Leonard Borwick to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for a gift and kind words. Holograph signed.
Dates: c 03 May 1900
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], London, Louis Fleury to Sophie Weisse. Informing Miss. Weisse that Fleury is in London and would like to see Tovey and Miss. Weisse. Holograph signed.
Scope and Contents Letter, 3 May [n.y], London, Mr and Mrs. Randall Davidson to Sophie Weisse. Invitation to Miss. Weisse. Typescript, Mr. Randall Davidson , also The Archbishop of Canterbury.
Dates: c 03 May 1900
Scope and Contents Letter, 14 May 1890, London, Hubert C. Parry to Sophie Weisse. Advising Miss. Weisse to arrive at three o' clock. Holograph signed.
Dates: 14 May 1890
Scope and Contents Letter, 18 June 1890, London, Hubert C. Parry to Sophie Weisse. Enquiring when Tovey is coming for his lesson. Holograph signed.
Dates: 18 June 1890
Scope and Contents Letter, 19 October 1890, London, Hubert C. Parry to Sophie Weisse. Apologising for not being able to give Tovey a lesson and suggesting a time when Parry will be available. Holograph signed.
Dates: 19 October 1890