Zenta Henkhuzens, second clarinet

What do you do for a living?
I'm a civil servant. I lead a team responsible for national education policy concerning deprived children.
Tell us a little about the instrument you play? Do you play any other instrument?
I play the clarinet. There are several members of the clarinet family ranging from the very large contrabass to the high pitched E flat although these 'extras' tend not to be played as often as the standard B flat and A instruments. The name clarinet derives from the Italian word clarino, meaning trumpet and the suffix et meaning little. The early clarinets had a tone similar to that of the trumpet. I also play flute and piano.
When did you start your musical education?
I was six years old. I learnt to read music on the recorder at primary school. The headmistress was a music teacher and everyone learnt the recorder for a year. I started the clarinet three years later.
How long have you been with the CCO?
I played in the inaugural concert in October 1995.
What has been your favourite CCO concert?
Brahms 3, in 2008: Alan was moved to tears.
Which piece of music do you most enjoy playing?
I adore Brahms, both his orchestral symphonies and solo works for piano and clarinet.  I also enjoy playing wind octets.
If you could take a recording of one piece of music to a desert island, what would it be?
Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony: it humbles me.
Who are your musical heroes?
Beethoven, Brahms, Bach, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis, Glenn Gould, Bernard Haitink.
When was the last time you attended a concert as one of the audience?
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra at the Proms with their new Latvian Musical Director Andris Nelsons – sublime.
What do you listen to in the car?
A mixture of classical and rock depending on my mood. Sheryl Crow on the motorway!
What are your other interests?
I love cooking and eating out, cocktails, galleries, singing, dancing, and travel.