Gunhild Ott was born in Essen, Germany and studied at the Folkwang Conservatoire in Essen with Prof. Mathias Rütters from 1973 onwards. In 1977 she was a prize-winner at the Competition of State Conservatories in Cologne. In 1979 she received a further grant from the German Music Council as well as from the Herbert von Karajan Foundation. In 1981 she was awarded the Second Prize at the German Music Competition in Bonn.
From 1980–86 she was Solo Flute with the Essen Philharmonic, and since 1986 has been a member of the SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg. Gunhild Ott has performed as a soloist and in chamber music programmes throughout Germany and around the world and has held a professorship at the Folkwang Conservatoire in Essen since 1997.