Williams is particularly interested in new music, and has worked with composers including Karlheinz Stockhausen, James Dillon, Richard Barrett, Liza Lim, James McMillan, Matthias Pinscher, Chris Dench, and John Rogers. He has had solo works composed for him by Liza Lim, James Dillon, Aaron Cassidy, David Chisholm, Evan Johnson, Richard Barrett and others. Williams has given Premieres in Australia of solo trumpet works by Stockhausen, Zimmermann, Carter, Eötvös, HK Gruber, Lim and Robert Erikson, and as a member of the New Music Ensemble ELISION, many first performances including works by Ferneyhough, Lim, Barrett, and Dillon. Williams is also an avid improvisor, and has an electro-acoustic group, based at SIAL sound studios at RMIT, called DIODE.
Williams was Associate Principal Trumpet of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at age 21, before resigning in 2006 after 7 years to concentrate on his solo career. He has performed as acting Principal Trumpet with most of the Australian Orchestras, and in 2004 was invited by Markus Stenz to play principal trumpet in the Guerzenich Orchester's 100th Anniversary concert of their premiere of Mahler's 5th Symphony in Cologne. He has also performed with the Australian Art Orchestra under Paul Grabowsky, and is a founding member of the Australian Brass Quintet.
Tristram’s teachers have included Armando Ghitalla, Hakan Hardenberger, Reinhold Friedrich, Markus Stockhausen, Daniel Mendelow and John Kellaway. He is a laureate of major international trumpet competitions in Brussels and Eindhoven, and was awarded a prize from Karlheinz Stockhausen at the 2006 Stockhausen Interpreters Course. Tristram Williams was the winner of a 2007 Symphony Australia Young Performer Award and a 2008 Churchill Fellowship.