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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 82 Collections and/or Records:

Letter to Sophie Weisse from Sir Donald Francis Tovey, c1922

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L660
Scope and Contents

Letter, [1922], Dusseldorf, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. News of the Busch family, Tovey's symphony, details of a successful concert at Prague, news of Mr. and Mrs. Rontgen, . Holograph signed.

Dates: c1922

Letter to Sophie Weisse from Sir Donald Franics Tovey, c1890

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L389
Scope and Contents

Letter, [n.d], Surrey, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Commenting on a performance of Schubert's C major symphony. Holograph signed.

Dates: c1890

Letter to Sophie Weisse from Unknown, c 26 March 1900

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2754
Scope and Contents

Letter, 26 March [n.y], London, Unknown to Sophie Weisse. Enclosing a fee for a concert performance by Tovey of his own work, and praising the music. Holograph incomplete.

Dates: c 26 March 1900

Letter to [Sophie Weisse] from Unknown, c1920

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2023
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.

Dates: c1920

Letter to Sophie Weisse from William Strecker, 22 February 1911

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2484
Scope and Contents

Letter, 22 February 1911, London, William Strecker to Sophie Weisse. Suggesting that Tovey approach Lord Plymouth and praising a concerto. Typescript signed.

Dates: 22 February 1911

Letter to Sophie Weisse from William Strecker, 25 October 1911

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2485
Scope and Contents

Letter, 25 October 1911, London, William Strecker to Sophie Weisse. Informing Miss. Weisse of the cheapest estimate for engraving and printing Tovey's Sonata and quintette, and discussing their publication to coincide with performance. Typescript signed.

Dates: 25 October 1911

Letter to Sophie Weisse from William Strecker, 20 April 1912

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2498
Scope and Contents

Letter, 20 April 1912, London, William Strecker to Sophie Weisse news of how many tickets have been sold for Tovey's Chelsea concerts. Holograph signed.

Dates: 20 April 1912

Letter to Sophie Weisse from William Strecker, 21 May 1913

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2502
Scope and Contents

Letter, 21 May 1913, London, William Strecker to Sophie Weisse. Enclosing the account of the Chelsea concerts, which is deficit by sixty pounds, discussion of the unnecessary expense of the concerts. Typescript signed.

Dates: 21 May 1913

Letter to Sophie Weisse from Wilma Halle, 27 October 1908

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L2203
Scope and Contents

Letter, 27 October 1908, London, Wilma Halle to Sophie Weisse. Thanking Miss. Weisse for sending a letter and cheque, praising Tovey's playing of Mozart. Holograph signed.

Dates: 27 October 1908

Postcard to Sophie Weisse from Sir Donald Francis Tovey, 22 October 1895

Identifier: Coll-411/1/1/L422
Scope and Contents

Postcard, 22 October 1895, Surrey, Donald Tovey to Sophie Weisse. Suggesting that Tovey and Fullinger perform together in concert. Holograph signed.

Dates: 22 October 1895

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  • Subject: Performances X

Additional filters:

Social Interaction 24
Concert Programs 13
Oxford Oxfordshire England 13
London (England) 12
Surrey (England) 8