Letters: Michael Kustow's thinking was bold, his ambition high

Jeremy Isaacs writes: Channel 4 was charged, by Act of Parliament, with providing a "distinctive" service; as its commissioning editor for the arts, Michael Kustow did much to make that promise good. His thinking was bold, his ambition high. Peter Brook's Hindu saga, The Mahabharata; Peter Hall's masked Oresteia; Pina Bausch's Bluebeard's Castle and Tony Harrison's V, directed by Richard Eyre, tumbled on to the screen one after the other. BBC2 commissioned an opera from Harrison Birtwistle, Yan Tan Tethera, but declined to broadcast it. Kustow snapped it up for Channel 4; the television version we made was simulcast with the BBC's Radio 3. He brought together the artist Tom Phillips and the film-maker Peter Greenaway to attempt A TV Dante: eight episodes of The Inferno resulted. Kustow behaved as a patron of the arts in a grand manner.

Himself an unreconstructed egghead, Kustow also offered highbrow argument.

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