Giovanni Gabireli was born in Venice somewhere between 1554 and 1557. His Father died at an early age, so he was probably brought up by his uncle Andrea Gabrieli. The latter was the organist of the San Marco, as well as a repsected composer, and a former pupil of Orlando di Lasso. Following in his uncle's footsteps, Giovanni Gabrieli spent several years as a young man at the court of Albrecht V in Munich. However, he returned to Venice no later than 1585 and, as his uncle before him, was appointed organist at the San Marco.