After having finished his musical studies in piano, violoncello and conducting he began his career as coach, head of music and conductor in several German opera houses. In 1977 he was engaged as dramaturg at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, from1978 to 1990 he served as artistic director in Hamburg, Frankfurt and Bruxelles. In 1990 he became opera director in Basel, from 1993 he worked in the same position at Oper Frankfurt. Since his retirement he is musical consultant in several theatres. As a pianist Gefe accompanied recitals with singers such as Peter Schreier, Günter Reich, Bernd Weikl.