We all have our likes and dislikes in music, movies, television, food, politics and what have you. So far, I haven't mentioned classical composers or individual works I don't like. There are some, but there is so much I really enjoy. Here are some composers I'm not too fond of ; but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't like their music. Listen, and make up your own mind. I you enjoy their music, that's fine with me. Don't let me prejudice you.
Antonio Vivaldi : This may elicit some boos from fans of this popular Italian baroque composer, but he has never been one of my favorites. Vivaldi wrote zillions of works including hundreds of violins concertos and concertos for other instruments. He lived in Venice, which had a thriving music scene, and was a famous violin virtuoso, hence all those violin concertos. But his music has always struck me as formulaic and predictable. Some have joked that Vivaldi didn't write hundreds of concertos ; he wrote the same one hundreds of times. I like music that is full of surprises, and composers who don't just repeat themselves. There is a lot of music by Vivaldi's Italian contemporaries that is just a formulaic.
Charles Gounod (1818 - 1893 ). This French composer is best known for his opera Faust, loosely based on the monumental Goethe play about an aged philosopher who sells his soul to the devil for youth, pleasure and power, eventually winning his redemption, and another opera Romeo and Juliet, based on Shakespeare. His other operas a pretty much forgotten today, but they were once popular. These two operas are still popular , and audiences enjoy their elegance and pretty melodies, but for me the music is by turns bland and sugary. His Mass for Saint Cecilia, patron saint of music, is the most tepid and pallid music setting of the mass I have ever heard.
Francis Poulenc (1899 - 1963 ). This Frenchman was part of a once trendy group of six French composers known as "Les Six". They rebelled against teutonic profundity and aimed at music that was light, elegant, breezy and witty. Poulenc wrote songs, piano pieces, ballets, concertos and organ music which some find elegant and witty. His music is tuneful and clever, but to me it is also irritatingly cutesy-pie, with a kind of mincing preciosity I don't like. He did write a serious opera called "The Dialogues of the Carmelites", available on CD and DVD, which tells of a group of French Carmelite nuns during the French revolution who are guillotined for their conflict with the revolutionary leadership. This has many admirers.
There are also a lot of 20th century composers who have written complex 12 tone music which is academic and boringly arid, though not all complex Avant-Garde music is bad, by any means.
There are two reasons I don't like a work ; either it's just not interesting, or downright boring, or there is something irritating or off-putting about it. If the music is at least INTERESTING, I can accept it. Sometimes, it's difficult to know whether or not I like something on first hearing. Often, it takes repeated hearings to decide.