Born to a wealthy paper merchant in Venice, he studied violin and singing. Unlike most composers of his time, he did not seek a post at a church or at courts of nobles or royalty. Instead he composed music independently. Then, in 1722, Maximilian Emanuel II, the Elector of Bavaria, to whom Albinoni had dedicated a set of twelve concertos, invited him to direct the Elector's operas.
His instrumental music greatly attracted the attention of Johann Sebastian Bach, who wrote at least two fugues on Albinoni's themes and constantly used his basses for harmony exercises for his pupils.
Much of Albinoni's work was lost in World War II with the destruction of the Dresden State Library. Little is known of his life and music after the mid 1720s. The famous Albinoni Adagio in G Minor is a 1945 reconstruction by Remo Giazotto of a fragment from a slow movement of a trio sonata he discovered among the ruins of the State Library.