The idea for Young Audiences began in 1950 in Baltimore, Maryland, when famed violinist Yehudi Menuhin played and talked with a group of children in the home of Mrs. Charles W. Collier. While the children’s interest and fascination was no surprise to Mrs. Collier, she realized other children might be drawn to similar experiences where they could meet and talk to musicians and hear them play. Shortly thereafter, she arranged for 22 chamber music concerts to take place in Baltimore elementary schools. As a result of the Baltimore in-school concerts, Mrs. Collier’s friend, Mrs. Edgar M. Leventritt, and Mrs. Collier's mother, Mrs. Lionello Perera, were eager to launch similar concert programs in New York City schools. Early in 1952, Mrs. Leventritt and Mrs. Perera began chamber music programs for elementary school students in New York City. Through a small grant from the Leventritt Foundation, they incorporated Young Audiences.