Western classical music has been studied and performed in Sri Lanka since its introduction during the Portuguese colonial period of the 15th century. The upper middle-class and upper-class citizens of the country traditionally formed the pedagogues, students, and audience of the Western classical tradition in the country, although western music is also offered as a subject at secondary schools and at tertiary level. The Symphony Orchestra of Sri Lanka is one of the oldest western orchestras in South Asia. The foundation of the National Youth Orchestra has helped increase interest and participation more widely in society and among young people outside Colombo. Many Sri Lankans have continued to reach the upper echelons of classical performance, including world-renowned cellist Rohan de Saram, pianist Rohan de Silva, and many other composers, organists, and orchestral performers.