Andrea Zani was born at Casalmaggiore in the Province of Cremona. He received his first instruction in playing the violin from his father, an amateur violinist. Subsequently, he received instruction in composition from Giacomo Civeri, a local musician, and studied violin in Guastalla with the court violinist Carlo Ricci. Antonio Caldara, who was working as Capellmeister at the court of Archduke Ferdinand Charles in Mantua, not far from Casalmaggiore, heard Zani play and invited him to accompany him to Vienna. Between 1727 and 1729 Zani arrived in Vienna and was active there as a violinist in the service of the Habsburgs. Following the death of his sponsor Caldara in 1736, he returned to Casalmaggiore where he remained for the rest of his life, except for occasional concert appearances. He died in his home town as the result of an accident, when the carriage in which he was travelling to Mantua overturned.