The Yugoslav mezzo-soprano, Gertrude Jahn. studied at the Vienna Academy of Music under Elizabeth Rado and Lily Kolar. She continued her studies in Vienna with Erik Werba and Josef Witt.
Gertrude Jahn made her operatic debut in Gluck's Orpheus and Eurydice in 1963 at the National Theatre of Basle, replacing Grace Bumbry. In 1967 Jahn joined the Vienna State Opera, remaining a member of the company for more than 25 years. She also made appearances at the opera houses of Hamburg, Munich, Zürich, Triest, Stuttgart and Berlin. Jahn has also performed as a guest artist at the Bolshoi Theatre, at Glyndebourne, the Salzburg Festival and the Montreal Opera (where she appeared during Expo 1967 in Rosenkavalier). She sang at La Scala in 1992, performing as Adelaide in Strauss' opera Arabella. Jahn's roles on the operatic stage have included Fedor in Boris Godunow, the title role in Georges Bizet's Carmen, Eboli in Don Carlo, Octavian in the Rosenkavalier, Margret in Wozzeck, Herodias in Salome, Preziosilla in La forza del destino, Magdalena in Die Meistersinger, Mrs Sedley in Peter Grimes and Countess Geschwitz in Lulu. In 1986 she appeared in the premiere of Penderecki's opera Die schwarze Maske (The Black Mask), as the countess Laura.
Gertrude Jahn is also a fine interpreter of lieder and sings in French, English, German, Italian, Russian and Croat.
Gertrude Jahn has recorded for Turnabout, Decca, and Concert Hall.