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 50 Collections and/or Records:
Scope and Contents Letter, 11 February 1892, Moffat, Sophie Weisse to Donald Tovey. Advising Tovey on cleanliness and hygiene for the sake of his health. Typescript copy.
Dates: 11 February 1892
Scope and Contents Letter, 20 November 1921, [Suffolk], Sophie Weisse to Donald Tovey. Discussion of Emmanuel Moor and the Aolian company, news of Tovey's adopted son and Miss. Weisse's state of health. Holograph signed.
Dates: 20 November 1921
Scope and Contents Letter, 13 April 1923, Edinburgh, Sophie Weisse to Donald Tovey. Expressing sympathy and offering help, news of Miss. Weisse's health and her mourning in the absence of the dear boy. Holograph signed.
Dates: 13 April 1923
Scope and Contents Letter, 25 April 1935, Edinburgh, Sophie Weisse to Donald Tovey. Description of Miss. Weisse's bad health, giving Tovey some advice. Holograph signed.
Dates: 25 April 1935
Scope and Contents Letter, 23 August [n.y], Bad Nauheim, Sophie Weisse to Donald Tovey. Details of expenses and of Miss. Weisse's treatment and health. Holograph signed.
Dates: c 23 August 1920
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, 14 November 1940, Manchester, Fanny Behrens to Sophie Weisse. Alerting Miss. Weisse to an article about Tovey's 'absolute ear', news of Behrens recovery and of her sons. Holograph signed.
Dates: 14 November 1940
Scope and Contents Letter, 26 July 1939, Robert Trevelyan to Sophie Weisse. Informing Miss. Weisse that a German doctor is treating Tovey and will give an opinion on Tovey's illness. Typescript copy.
Dates: 26 July 1939
Scope and Contents Letter, 14 July 1907, [ Robert V. Mendelssohn] to Sophie Weisse. Description of 'the great mans' illness, inviting Tovey to visit Joachim. Holograph signed.
Dates: 14 July 1907
Scope and Contents Letter, 12 October 1892, Oxford, Hubert C. Parry to Sophie Weisse. Sympathy over Tovey's crooked spine, details of Parry's engagements, and comment on a musical fund for scholars. Holograph signed.
Dates: 12 October 1892