February 18, 1841, Montreal, Canada.
October 7, 1915, New York City.
Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery, Poughkeepsie, New York.
Samuel was the oldest son of organ builder Samuel Russell Warren, and brother of organ builder Charles Sumner Warren. His second wife, Jeanne Joséphine Croker-South Ward, was a professional opera singer of French origin.
He received his first organ lessons at age 11, and gave his first recital at St. Stephen’s Chapel in Montreal. He succeeded his father as organist at the American Presbyterian Church in Montreal, playing there until 1858.
In 1861, he went to Berlin, Germany, where he studied under Carl August Haupt (organ), Gustav Schumann (piano) and Paul Wieprecht (theory).
In 1864, Warren went to New York to become organist at All Souls Unitarian Church. From 1868–74 and 1876–94, he played the organ at Grace Episcopal Church, and 1874–76 at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, both in New York City. In 1895, he became organist at the First Presbyterian Church in East Orange, New Jersey, where he stayed the rest of his life.
Warren was a founding member of the American Guild of Organists in 1896, and became honorary president of the organization in 1902.
He also conducted the New York Vocal Union, and taught at the Boston Conservatory of Music. Among his pupils was Augusta Lowell, one of the first organists in North America.