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 career. The
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
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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