Lisinski was born Ignaz Fuchs to a GermanJewish family. He would later change his name to Vatroslav Lisinski. For a time he worked as a clerk at the Tabula Banalis in Zagreb.
Lisinski composed the first Croatian opera, Ljubav i zloba ("Love and Malice", 1846), which he wrote at the urging of Alberto Ognjen Štriga, and Porin (1851) as well as numerous works for orchestra, choir and soloists.
He was also one of the founders of the Illyrism, a movement that advocated the importance of Croatian cultural heritage, as a reaction to Magyarisation during the Austro-Hungarian rule.
^(Croatian)Beus-Richembergh, Goran. "Croatian God German". Matica hrvatska. Retrieved 2010-07-15. "Vatroslav Lisinski, pravim imenom Ignaz Fuchs, bio je njemačko-židovskog podrijetla,... ("Vatroslav Lisinski, real name Ignaz Fuchs, was of German-Jewish origin, ...")"
^(Croatian)Kalogjera-Brkić, Ivana (2009-07-26). "I'm not minister for the money, I already have my millions". Jutarnji list. Retrieved 2010-07-15. "Obiteljskoj lozi po očevoj strani pripada i Vatroslav Lisinski, pristaša ilirskog pokreta, pravim imenom Ignac Fuchs. ("To family line on my father's side belongs Lisinski, a supporter of the Illyrian movement, whose real name was Ignac Fuchs")"