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, 28 June 1910, London, William Strecker to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for sending tickets, agreeing to attend Tovey's birthday celebrations and commenting on Percy Such. Holograph signed.
Dates: 28 June 1910
Scope and Contents Letter, 30 January 1912, William Strecker to Sophie Weisse. Enclosing a letter that reveals ' the facts' that explain a situation that may have hurt Tovey. Typescript signed.
Dates: 30 January 1912
Scope and Contents Letter, 1 July 1912, London, William Strecker to Sophie Weisse. Concerning a mistake over concert dates, news of Godley and asking Miss. Weisse what should be done with the Ms. of Ariadne. Typescript signed.
Dates: 01 July 1912
Scope and Contents Letter, 22 January 1914, London, William Strecker to Sophie Weisse. Informing Miss. Weisse that Strecker will be free to meet her once his wife has left for Germany, discussion of Korngold's success in Germany. Typescript signed.
Dates: 22 January 1914
Scope and Contents Letter, 27 October 1908, London, Wilma Halle to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for sending a letter and cheque, praising Tovey's playing of Mozart. Holograph signed.
Dates: 27 October 1908
Scope and Contents Letter, 25 December 1909, London, Wilma Halle to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for her kindness expressing a desire to play with Tovey for pleasure. Holograph signed.
Dates: 25 December 1909
Scope and Contents Postcard, 11 September 1905, London, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. News of visits to the Speyers and the Trevelyans. Holograph signed.
Dates: 11 September 1905
Scope and Contents Telegram, 12 December 1890, London, Hubert C. Parry to Sophie Weisse. Informing Miss. Weisse that it has been arranged for Tovey to visit Parry at eleven thirty. Holograph.
Dates: 12 December 1890
Scope and Contents Telegram, 26 July 1897, London, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Details of cost of a ticket to Luxembourg. Typescript copy.
Dates: 26 July 1897