The Aldeburgh Foundation has always encouraged young musicians to attend the Aldeburgh Festival and has several ways of helping students to go to it including the Hesse Student Bursary.
The Hesse Student Bursary was founded in 1959 by Princess Margaret of Hesse on the Rhine following the death of her husband, Prince Ludwig of Hesse on the Rhine. Through this scheme, twenty-four young people aged between 18 and 25 can attend either the first or second week of the Festival. Twelve places are available for each week, and the student receives free concert tickets for one week in return for helping out behind the scenes. Students also produce a concert at the end of their week as most attendees are music students who play one or more instruments.
It's great fun being a Hesse Student. The general public attending the Aldeburgh Festival know you are a Hesse Student by the official badge you are given and as a result of this you get to meet all sorts of people. Hesse students can be found doing anything from selling programmes and invigilating at exhibitions to helping out backstage during performances. Some students even help out on stage when necessary and may be asked to turn score pages or rearrange stage furnishings!
Students are provided with bed and breakfast accommodation, which is now available at Snape Maltings due to major refurbishment works which are being carried on the buildings surrounding the concert halls. The concert bus can take you back and forward between Aldeburgh and Snape as necessary, so very few costs are involved. Applications are accepted in advance by the Aldeburgh Foundation and it is usual for music to feature somewhere in the student's studies. Most Hesse students do play instruments and/or sing, hence the availability of sufficient skill to produce their concert at the end of each week, which is organised by the students themselves.
It is well worth applying to attend the Aldeburgh Festival as a Hesse student and you can go back more than once. Many students go back at least twice and I know of two cases where individuals returned several years in a row. For more information and to apply, The Hesse Student Alumni Page contains e-mail contacts.