Torelli was born in Verona. It is not known with whom he studied violin though it has been speculated that he was a pupil of Leonardo Brugnoli or Bartolomeo Laurenti, but it is certain that he studied composition with Giacomo Antonio Perti (Schnoebelen and Vanscheeuwijk 2001). On 27 June 1684, at the age of 26, he became a member of the Accademia Filarmonica as suonatore di violino (Schnoebelen and Vanscheeuwijk 2001). On 1687 Giuseppe Corsi da Celano played Torelli's music, from Op. 3, in Parma at the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Steccata. (Ciliberti and Tribuzio 2014) By 1698 he was maestro di concerto at the court of Georg Friedrich II, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, where he conducted the orchestra for Le pazzie d'amore e dell'interesse, an idea drammatica composed by the maestro di cappella, and the castrato Francesco Antonio Pistocchi, before leaving for Vienna in December 1699. He returned to Bologna sometime before February 1701, when he is listed as a violinist in the newly re-formed cappella musicale at San Petronio, directed by his former composition teacher Perti (Schnoebelen and Vanscheeuwijk 2001).