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, 1 October 1906, London, Hubert Parry to Siophie Weisse. Praising Miss. Weisse, suggesting that Parry visits and wishing Tovey well. Holograph signed, with stamped envelope, envelop annotated by Sophie Weisse.
Dates: 11 October 1906
Scope and Contents Letter, 1 August 1922, London, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Requesting that Miss. Weisse send Tovey a couple of dress shirts, news of his host Sir William McCormick. Holograph signed.
Dates: 01 August 1922
Scope and Contents Letter, 31 October 1890, London, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Arranging a suitable day for Donald to visit Parry. Holograph signed.
Dates: 31 October 1890
Scope and Contents Letter, 10 January 1893, London, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Arranging to meet Miss. Weisse. Photocopy of typescript copy.
Dates: 10 January 1893
Scope and Contents Letter, 9 January 1893, London, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Postponing Tovey's meeting with Miss. Weisse, and asking what is happening at Broadwoods. Photocopy of typescript copy.
Dates: 09 January 1893
Scope and Contents Letter, 12 January 1891, London, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Details of a performance of The Messiah at the Albert Hall, and details of Tovey's social life. Photocopy of holograph signed.
Dates: 12 January 1891
Scope and Contents Letter, 12 January 1904, London, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. News of Tovey's time in Germany, his awe of Joachim and his forthcoming schedule. Holograph signed.
Dates: 12 January 1904
Scope and Contents Letter, 14 May 1897, London, Hubert Charles Parry to Sophie Weisse. Expressing pleasure at hearing News of Tovey's development. Holograph signed.
Dates: 14 May 1897
Scope and Contents Letter, 28 October 1907, London, T. A. Spring Rice to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for her hospitality, requesting that Tovey give a lesson to a friend of Spring Rice and news of Spring Rice's engagements. Holograph signed.
Dates: 28 October 1907
Scope and Contents Letter, 22 February 1925, London, W. W. Cobbett to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss Weisse for her letter, praise for the music of Haydn. Holograph signed.
Dates: 22 February 1925