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 71 Collections and/or Records:
Scope and Contents Letter, 19 December 1893, Surrey, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Concerning Palestrina annotation and requesting that Miss. Weisse brings several scores to Moffat. Holograph signed, with stamped envelope.
Dates: 19 December 1893
Scope and Contents Letter, 15 March 1895, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Discussion of technique and spontaneity in music and criticism of a music committee. Holograph signed, in pencil, with stamped envelope.
Dates: 15 March 1895
Scope and Contents Letter, 21 February 1895, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Covering note for the themes of a first movement of a composition by Tovey. Holograph signed, with stamped envelope.
Dates: 21 February 1895
Scope and Contents Letter, 22 October 1895, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Description of a pianoforte quintet Tovey is composing. Holograph, with stamped envelope.
Dates: 20 October 1895
Scope and Contents Letter, 27 December 1895, Surrey, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Apologising for not writing, details of a quintet Tovey is composing. Holograph signed, with stamped envelope.
Dates: 27 December 1895
Scope and Contents Letter, 12 February 1896, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Discussion of musical scoring, details of a concert. Holograph signed, incomplete.
Dates: 12 February 1896
Scope and Contents Letter, 24 February 1897, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Anxiety over the pressures of Oxford life and doubting his skills of composition. Typescript copy.
Dates: 24 February 1897
Scope and Contents Letter, 20 May 1897, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Notes describing Oxford life and Tovey's plans for composition in University holidays. Holograph signed, with duplicate typescript copy, p. 27 x 20cm.
Dates: 20 May 1897
Scope and Contents Letter, 22 July 1897, Surrey, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for sending sketchbooks which Tovey compares to his own musical sketchings, informing Miss. Weisse that he can not afford to practice the piano, as he will be working towards his degree, details of a Bishops party. Holograph signed, with duplicate typescript copy, 26 x 21cm.
Dates: 22 July 1897
Scope and Contents Letter, 4 October 1897, Surrey, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse and outlining plans for his concerto and reading. Typescript copy.
Dates: 04 October 1897