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, 20 February 1892, London, Hubert C. Parry to Sophie Weisse. Discussion of Tovey's ability to play ' the variations' by heart and his progress. Holograph signed.
Dates: 20 February 1892
Scope and Contents Letter, [n.d], London, Hubert Parry to Sophie Weisse. Explaining that Parry is unable to give Tovey lessons, and informing Miss. Weisse that Tovey does not need extra lessons anyway as he has natural talent. Holograph signed.
Scope and Contents Letter, 10 May 1900, London, Hubert C. Parry to Sophie Weisse. Discussion of violin and pianoforte methods, news of Tovey's development. Holograph signed.
Dates: 10 May 1900
Scope and Contents Letter, 5 June 1924, Edinburgh, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. News of Lord Murray's capable management of the Reid orchestra. Holograph signed.
Dates: 05 June 1924
Scope and Contents Letter, 18 October 1893, Wokingham, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Description of a rehearsal of works by Beethoven and Brahms. Photocopy of Holograph signed.
Dates: 18 October 1893
Scope and Contents Letter, 9 November , Windsor, Walter Parratt to Sophie Weisse. Discussion of the young Tovey's talents and development. Holograph signed.
Dates: c 09 November 1900
Scope and Contents Letter, 18 March 1908, London, Wilma Halle to Sophie Weisse. Accepting an invitation to play with Tovey. Holograph signed.
Dates: 18 March 1908
Scope and Contents Letter, 25 December 1909, London, Wilma Halle to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for her kindness expressing a desire to play with Tovey for pleasure. Holograph signed.
Dates: 25 December 1909
Scope and Contents Letter, 15 February 1907, Surrey [Sophie Weisse] to Walrond. Urging Walrond to supply a better piano for Tovey to perform on. Typescript.
Dates: 15 February 1907
Scope and Contents Note, 1 June 1891, James Higgs To Sophie Weisse. Requesting that Miss. Weisse tell Tovey that Higgs is expecting good work from him. Ms. Transcript, by Sophie Weisse, written on the back of a signed part of a letter from James Higgs.
Dates: 01 June 1891