Thomas Warner’s research areas for the Steinway Diary Project included making synopses of Steinway Board of Trustees meetings, minutes, annual reports, and inventory summaries and also gathering information on the firm's competitors.
His other areas of research were William’s food and eating habits, including restaurants frequented by William and the concotions he consumed for myriad health problems, such as celery salad to cure rheumatism and gout and tomato-potato soup, mutton broth, and gruel for a bad colds and fever. Warner also reported on Professor H. L. F. von Helmholtz, a noted German physicist who wrote a treatise on acoustics. Helmholtz was so impressed with his Steinway piano that he wrote William that he had been forced to favorably modify his former opinions about pianos.
Warner graduated from Oberlin College with a major in English, and went on to receive an MA and PhD in music history from New York University. He has published books and articles on 18th-century performance practices and on music in early America. His performance medium is the oboe, having played with symphonies in Richmond, Brooklyn, and Columbus, and with various college orchestras. For 33 years he taught music history and appreciation, conducted early music ensembles, and taught special topics for seminars at Virginia Commonwealth, Brown, Ohio State, and Bucknell Universities. His second love is cooking, especially French cuisine. He holds a degree from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, and was owner and executive chef at the Lewisburg Inn in Pennsylvania from 1982 until 2000. He lives in Kensington, Maryland with his wife, Suzanne Bowler. Warner has two daughters and one son, who is pursuing a doctorate in harpsichord performance. His two grandchildren are a delight, but of course, one expects him to say that. He remains active in community affairs and is very involved in activities of the Cosmos Club in Washington, where he writes a monthly column on wines.