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, 5 May 1898, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Expressing a concern for Miss. Weisse, informing Miss. Weisse of Tovey's ill health, and a report on Tovey's studies. Holograph signed.
Dates: 05 May 1898
Scope and Contents Letter, 5 May 1898, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Expressing a concern for Miss. Weisse, informing Miss. Weisse of Tovey's ill health, and a report on Tovey's studies. Typescript copy.
Dates: 05 May 1898
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Expressing Tovey's anxiety over his tiredness and inability to study. Holograph signed.
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Explaining to Miss Weisse that Tovey can not work at the moment, news that Bray is feeling run down as well. Photocopy of Holograph signed.
Scope and Contents Letter, [1 December 1893], Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for various things, discussing Tovey's copies of music scores, and the fact that Tovey is suffering from a cold. Photocopy of Holograph signed.
Dates: 01 December 1893
Scope and Contents Letter, 12 December 1900, Bonn, Therese Dabis to Sophie Weisse. Discussing the convalescence of a child. Typescript copy.
Dates: 12 December 1900
Scope and Contents Letter, August 1939, London, Unknown to Sophie Weisse. Describing the authors illness and medicine prescribed by Dr. Dickson. Holograph, written on the back of a poem in German.
Dates: 01 August 1939
Scope and Contents Postcard, 28 February 1923, Edinburgh, Sophie Weisse to Donald Tovey. Informing Tovey that Miss. Weisse is not well enough to go to a rectorial address, but will attend a luncheon . Holograph signed.
Dates: 28 February 1923
Scope and Contents Postcard, [n.d], Surrey, Sophie Weisse to Donald Tovey. Asking Tovey if anything is wrong, after Mr. Forbes has suggested Tovey is working too hard. Holograph signed.