Regarded as being at the forefront of the Australian musical avant-garde, Werder's music has been widely performed. His early twelve-tone music has given way to a more improvisatory, collage-like style that often makes virtuosic demands on its performers.
Werder has been an Adult Education class lecturer in music since 1956 and held the position of music critic for the Melbourne daily newspaper The Age from 1960 to 1977 before moving into radio, developing a series on contemporary music with Keith Humble for the ABC.
Felix Werder has written for a wide variety of musical media, including chamber music, orchestral and music theatre works, and has received numerous commissions from organisations such as Deutsch Opera (1967), the ABC (1969), the Australian Opera (1969), the National Theatre (1975), the Victorian State Opera (1976), and the Berlin Festival (1987). He has also received awards for his compositions, including the Stamitz Prize in 1988, and the Sir Zelman Cowan Medal in 1991. He was created a Member of the Order of Australia for services to music in January 1976.
In 2002 a number of concerts featuring Werder's music helped celebrate the composer's 80th birthday. Further tribute was paid by the University of Melbourne, which awarded Werder the degree of Doctor of Music.