Vahdah Olcott-Bickford, née Ethel
Lucretia Olcott, was an professional teacher of the Guitar, most well known for her
Method, Op. 25, and the
, Op. 116. She also wrote numerous articles about the guitar, and
corresponded with other musicians and enthusiasts about the instrument throughout her long
Vahdah Olcott-Bickford Collection documents
Olcott-Bickford's professional life as a classical guitarist, an avid member of various
organizations in the United States, her work with guitarists around the world, and her
personal life. The collection includes scores, letters, photographs, newspaper clippings,
receipts, articles, lecture notes, and guest books, and dates from 1874-1980.
Ethel Lucretia Olcott was born on October 17, 1885 in Norwalk, Ohio. She was three years
old when she and her parents moved to Los Angeles, California. At the age of eight she
started guitar lessons with George Lindsay, a well-known classic guitarist. From 1903-1904
she lived in Berkeley with Manuel Y. Ferrer, where she expanded her repertoire to include
European guitar techniques. In 1914 she moved to New York where she gave concerts and
lessons, and assisted Philip J. Bone with the publication of his book The Guitar and Mandolin.
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