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 22 Collections and/or Records:
Scope and Contents Letter, , London, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. A description of Joachim's evaluation of Tovey's compositions. Holograph signed.
Scope and Contents Letter, , Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Analysis of the playing, rhythm and performance of ' The Bohemians '. Holograph signed.
Scope and Contents Letter, 20 November 1900, Oxford, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. News of Tovey's quintet rehearsals, lecture and comments on the Leeds festival. Typescript copy.
Dates: 20 November 1900
Scope and Contents Letter, , Surrey, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. News of Tovey's mother, a concerto and Tovey's consultation of Gevaerts, 'Cours Methodique'. Holograph signed.
Scope and Contents Letter, , Berlin, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Description of Tovey's time in Germany, comparison of English and German manners, outlining Joachim's criticism of his composition . Holograph signed, with stamped envelope.
Scope and Contents Letter, , Berlin, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Description of Tovey's time in Germany, comparison of English and German manners, outlining Joachim's criticism of his composition . Typescript copy, incomplete.
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], Surrey, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Discussion of the first movement of Beethoven's Eroica. Holograph signed.
Scope and Contents Letter, [March 1916], Edinburgh, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. News of a successful Reid concert, criticism of a music critic in 'The Scotsman', and news of life in Edinburgh. Holograph unfinished, on University of Edinburgh headed notepaper.
Dates: c01 March 1916
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], Woking, Unknown to [Sophie Weisse]. Description of the performance of a quintet, praising the first two movements and critical of the third. Holograph incomplete.
Scope and Contents Letter, 26 March 1912, London, William Strecker to Sophie Weisse. Agreeing that it will be better to leave Joachim's opinion out of an article, and answering Miss. Weisse's queries about an advertisement for a concert that Tovey is appearing in. Typescript signed.
Dates: 26 March 1912