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 32 Collections and/or Records:
Scope and Contents Letter, 16 November 1889, London, James Higgs to Sophie Weisse. Commenting on a pupils, [Tovey's] progress. Holograph signed.
Dates: 16 November 1889
Scope and Contents Letter, 30 September 1890, London, [James Higgs] to Sophie Weisse. Arranging a time to resume Tovey's lessons, and suggesting preparation for Tovey. Holograph signed.
Dates: 30 September 1890
Scope and Contents Letter, 3 October 1890, London, James Higgs to Sophie Weisse. Praising Tovey's progress and suggesting that Tovey should not be pushed. Holograph signed.
Dates: 03 October 1890
Scope and Contents Letter, 24 January 1891, London, James Higgs to Sophie Weisse. Discussing Tovey's progress and suggesting he has a lesson in counterpoint every other week. Holograph signed.
Dates: 24 January 1891
Scope and Contents Letter, 7 April 1893, London, James Higgs to Sophie Weisse. Praise of the young Tovey's progress in counterpoint and exceptional musical talent. Holograph signed, with envelope written on by Miss. Weisse.
Dates: 07 April 1893
Scope and Contents Letter, 8 May 1899, Oxford, John Farmer to Sophie Weisse. Praising Tovey's exceptional talent, comparing the young Tovey to Brahms. Holograph signed.
Dates: 08 May 1899
Scope and Contents Letter, 1 April 1890, London, Hubert C. Parry to Sophie Weisse. Expressing and interest in hearing Tovey play. Holograph signed.
Dates: 01 April 1890
Scope and Contents Letter, 5 June 1890, London, Hubert C. Parry to Sophie Weisse. Informing Miss. Weisse of the times Parry is available to teach Tovey. Holograph signed.
Dates: 05 June 1890
Scope and Contents Letter, 5 January 1891, Hubert C. Parry to Sophie Weisse. Informing Miss. Weisse of the cost of Tovey's lessons and suggestng he is scatterbrained and forgetful and needs self discipline. Holograph signed.
Dates: 05 January 1891