Antonio Nóbrega was born in 1952, in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil. His father was a doctor and he studied in a Catholic school, Colégio Marista. When he was 12, he started studying music in Escola de Belas Artes do Recife, where he learned how to sing and play violin. In 1960s, he became musician for Orquestra de Câmara da Paraíba and Orquestra Sinfônica do Recife. As member of those orchestras, Nóbrega started his musical career. In 1970s, he joined Quinteto Armorial, a musical group idealized by Ariano Suassuna for creating classical chamber music from Brazilian folklore roots.